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University of Toronto 


Society for Confraternity Studies 

Volume 10, No. 1 

Spring 1999 


Konrad Eisenbichler 

Assistant Editor 
Dylan Reid 

Confraternitas is published biannually (Spring and Fall) by the Centre for Reformati< 
and Renaissance Studies for the Society for Confraternity Studies. The subscripts 
price is $15 per annum. 

Confraternitas welcomes brief articles, news and notes of interest to colleagues, notice 
of forthcoming conferences or papers, and general queries. Contributors are asked 
use the A style of the Chicago Manual of Style. 

Offprints and publications dealing with European confraternities in the Middle Ages 
and the Renaissance received by Confraternitas are listed under the "Publications 
Received" rubric and then deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre ft 
Reformation and Renaissance Studies (Toronto). 

Address all communications and manuscripts to the editors at CRRS, Victoria Collej 
University of Toronto, Canada M5S 1K7. 

Tel: (416) 585-4486; fax: (416) 585-4579 

Web site: 

Electronic discussion group: 

To join the discussion group, send the one-line message subscribe confrat Your Nj 

to (do not include anything else, no subject, no signature) 

ISSN 1180-0682 


Volume 10, No. 1, Spring 1999 



Scholarly Confraternitas: Conferences, Feasts, Anniversaries, and 


Nicholas Terpstra 3 

Florentine confraternities, society, and lay-religious life in the sixteenth 

century — A Work in Progress 

Nicholas A. Eckstein 6 

Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Roisin Cossar, The Work of Salvation: Civic Piety in the Misericordia 
Maggiore of Bergamo, 1265-1365 13 

Andreas Dehmer, Painted Processional Banners of Religious Lay 

Confraternities in Northern and Central Italy from their Beginnings Until 

the Era of Counter-Reformation 15 

Phillip J. Earenflght, The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia ("11 

Bigallo"): Art and Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and 

Virtue in Late Medieval Florence 16 

News 17 


UArchivio della Cancelleria Arcivescovile di Firenze. Inventario delle 

visite pastorali, ed. Gilberto Aranci (Nicholas Terpstra) 20 

Arciconfraternite e confraternite. La societa cristiana a Roma e in Italia 

dalla riforma ai giorni nostri, ed. Antonello Lazzerini (Laura E. Hunt) 21 

Calzolai, Carlo Celso. Vaglia in Mugello (Nunzio Rizzi) 22 

Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain, eds. 

John Patrick Donnelly and Michael W. Maher (Dylan Reid) 23 

Corpi, "fraternita", mestieri nella storia della societa europea, ed. 

Danilo Zardin (Sandra Parmegiani) 25 

Kunig von Vach, Hermann. Pilgerfuhrer nach Santiago de Compostela 

(1495) (Konrad Eisenbichler) 26 

Ogier, Darryl Mark. Reformation and Society in Guernsey 

(Jennifer Forbes) 26 

Publications Received 28 

Scholarly Confratemitasi Conferences, Feasts, 
Anniversaries, and Collections 

Nicholas Terpstra 

Confraternity studies have been marked at critical points by essay collections. In 
a field still characterized by very localized research, essay collections have been 
the chief example of collaborative work. Whether the result of a conference or 
brought together at the prompting of a press or editor, they also reflect the 
comparative urge that animates much work in the field and the strong sense of 
sociability that binds its practitioners together. Local work done collaboratively 
to advance comparative research, essay collections represent a form of scholarly 
confraternitas at work. 

Though Gilles Gerard Meersseman's Ordo fraternitatis (1977) is frequently 
taken as the starting point, modern Italian confraternity studies can really be dated 
by two critical collections: // movimento dei disciplinati nel settimo centenario 
dal suo inizio ( 1 962) and Risultati e prospettive della ricerca sul movimento dei 
disciplinati (1972), both the outcome of conferences and both the foundation for 
much subsequent work by scholars around the world. Italian scholars have 
continued to organize conferences and publish proceedings at a steady rate; 
among the more recent have been Liana Bertoldi Lenoci's Conf rate mite, Chiesa 
e Societa (1994), a wide-ranging collection with some concentration on southern 
Italy, and Danilo Zardin's Corpi, fraternita', mestieri nella storia della societa 
europea (1998), an ambitious effort to set confraternal organization in the broader 
context of early modern corporatism, with comparisons to guilds, political bodies, 
and professional groups. 

In April 1989 another conference in Toronto signalled the blossoming of 
confraternity studies in North America and launched the Society for Confraternity 
Studies. With one eye to sociability and another to ritual, the participants closed 
their conference with a feast and brought the Society into being with the solemn 
signing of a place-mat. More permanent marks of the historic occasion were, 
naturally, an essay collection, Crossing the Boundaries: Christian Piety and the 
Arts in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Confraternities (1991), and this news- 
letter, Confraternitas. Both emerged under the editorial care of Konrad 
Eisenbichler who, more than any other individual, has shepherded the Society 
through the past decade. As the Society has grown, its members have produced 
an impressive number of articles and monographs (with copies held in the 
Confraternities Collection of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 
at Victoria University in the University of Toronto). It has maintained the 
sociability of its origins by bringing scholars together annually in sponsored 
sessions at the meetings of the International Congress of Medieval Studies in 
Kalamazoo, the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, and the Renaissance 

4 Confraternitas 10:1 

Society of America; in fine confraternal tradition, meals always follow these 
occasions, but place-mats now stay on the table. 

As we look back on ten active years, it is appropriate that 1999 will see the 
publication of two and possibly three essay collections that include the work of 
Society members from around the world. Each will be reviewed in this and in 
future issues of Confraternitas, but it is appropriate to note them briefly here in 
order to celebrate the rich variety of substantial scholarship currently underway. 
Focusing on religion, politics, and the visual arts, these collections underscore 
the inter-disciplinary nature of the field. With contributions from scholars in Italy, 
England, Canada, the United States, and Australia, they also demonstrate the 
international scope of confraternity studies. 

The first off the mark is Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, 
and Spain edited by John P. Donnelly and Michael W. Maher and released in 
February 1999 in the series Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies (Thomas 
Jefferson University Press). Twelve essays analyze the role of confraternities at 
the critical intersection of religion and politics (particularly in France), explore 
their significance as models and laboratories for new forms of piety, charity, and 
parochial life, and study the impact of reform ideas on women and youth. While 
the greatest part of the collection focuses on the sixteenth century, a few of the 
essays carry their analysis further into the ancien regime (see below in this issue 
for a fuller review of this volume). 

The second collection is The Politics of Ritual Kinship: Confraternities and 
Social Order in Early Modern Italy, edited by Nicholas Terpstra and scheduled 
for publication by Cambridge University Press in July, 1999. Opening with a 
historiographical review by Christopher F. Black of developments in confrater- 
nity studies over the past thirty years, the collection brings together studies on 
inter-related issues of gender, class, charity, and political consolidation in Italy. 
Five essays deal with the medieval and Renaissance roots of confraternal corpo- 
ratism, while the bulk of the collection explores the shifting social, political, and 
religious roles of confraternities through the course of the ancien regime to their 
late-eighteenth-century suppression. 

The third collection is Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance 
Italy: Ritual, Spectacle, Image, edited by Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl, 
scheduled for publication by Cambridge University Press in late 1999 or early 
2000. In contrast to catalogues which document confraternal patronage, this 
collection approaches art, architecture, drama, and ritual as distinctive expres- 
sions of group identity and ambition that can only be understood through a 
contextual approach and methodology. It encompasses a wide range of works 
(painting, sculpture, architecture, dramatic spectacle) commissioned by con- 
fraternities in Italy from the thirteenth through the seventeenth centuries, and 
considers them in the context of a wide range of issues, including devotional 
practices, urban planning, poor relief, education, and the roles of women. 

Though their publication together in this anniversary year for the Society for 
Confraternity Studies (1989-1999) is purely serendipitous, these three examples 
of scholarly confraternitas are the most appropriate way to mark and celebrate 

Scholarly Confraternitas 5 

the first ten years of the Society. At least one more volume of essays is currently 
in the planning stages, and no doubt more will appear in the years to come — 
inspired, we are sure, by a lively post-conference feast, and sketched out on the 
back of a place-mat. 

University of Toronto 

Florentine confraternities, society, and 
lay-religious life in the sixteenth century — A 
Work in Progress 

Nicholas A. Eckstein 

The present article is a brief resume of the context for my current research towards 
a major study of Florentine confraternities and society after 1500. In what follows 
there is not space for detailed description of all aspects of the project. I have 
instead opted in the available space to discuss briefly some of the factors that led 
me to undertake this study in the hope that the identification of a number of themes 
and historiographical issues will be of interest to other scholars in the field. 

Readers of Confraternitas hardly need telling that the burgeoning interest in 
European confraternities has, over the last generation, spawned a minor industry. 
Some, like myself, may also find themselves wondering from time to time whether 
indeed this enterprise is in need of some kind of "future-directions policy" — 
given its scale, there is an occasional lack of rigour and a certain tendency for 
scholars working in different places to reproduce each other's results. The 
situation is perhaps somewhat different from the one that Gene Brucker identified 
in relation to the state of Florentine studies in the late 1970s. Professor Brucker 
opened his The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence by observing that the 
prevailing tendency for historians to utilize Florence as a laboratory within which 
to test epistemological tools taken from other disciplines had produced nearly as 
many differing interpretations as there were monographs on the subject. 1 The 
result then, in Professor Brucker' s opinion, was that the consequent plethora of 
competing or mutually exclusive visions of Florentine society had produced more 
dissent than agreement and, indeed, occasionally led one to ask whether certain 
authors were writing about the same city. 

Interest in confraternities has, similarly, produced a huge number of new 
studies both big and small, and it must be said that this recent scholarship has 
militated strongly against an earlier portrait of Renaissance Italian society as a 
secularizing prototype of our own age. Thematically speaking, however, the 
published literature is unevenly spread, as Konrad Eisenbichler recently 
observed. 2 The problem is not so much one of competing and conflicting voices, 
but of a lack of clarity and consistency. Institutional histories and isolated 
case-studies abound, and certain aspects of confraternal experience have received 

Gene Brucker, The Civic World of Early Renaissance Florence, introduction; also the 
same author's "A Tale of Two Cities: Florence and Venice in the Renaissance" American 
Historical Review 88 (1983), pp. 599-616. 

Konrad Eisenbichler, "Italian Scholarship on Pre-Modern Confraternities in Italy," 
Renaissance Quarterly 50:2 (1997), pp. 567-580. 

Florentine confraternities, society and lay-religious life 1 

a great deal of attention, but the general picture remains sketchy. It is still not 
possible to do more than venture tentative hypotheses about the way that this form 
of popular religious experience responded to the changing social and religious 
environment in northern Italy after 1500. If this situation holds for confraternity 
studies in the institutional sense, it is perhaps even more serious with regard to 
the relationship of confraternities to the society of which (it seems sometimes to 
be forgotten) they formed a part. 

These problems are more serious in the Anglophone than the European 
world. If one turns to Florence between 1500 and the Council of Trent, one finds 
that until now historians writing in English have left the field largely untouched. 3 
Much useful work in Italian has for the most part an institutional or art-historical 
focus, 4 and much of the latter category is primarily concerned with individual 
artistic commissions in the confraternal setting. 5 When it was published a decade 
ago, Christopher Black intended that his admirable survey of Italian confraternit- 
ies in the sixteenth century be an "interim report" on the field, and he alerted the 

Konrad Eisenbichler's exhaustive treatment of the Florentine youth company of the 
Archangel Raphael makes use of a wealth of unpublished documentary material, but the 
author was unable to describe the society's activities during much of the early sixteenth 
century because of a large gap in the records: no documents survive for the period between 
1494 and 1530. Konrad Eisenbichler, The Boys of the Archangel Raphael. A Youth 
Confraternity in Florence, 1411-1785 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), pp. 
39^0. Hospitals in the early-modern era have for some time attracted the attention of 
scholars such as Philip Gavitt (see, for example, his Charity and Children in Renaissance 
Florence. The Ospedale degli Innocenti, 1410-1536 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 
Press, 1 990)). The recent historiography relating to the confraternities is, as I hope to make 
clear in what follows, a particular case, and I do not intend to discuss the growing literature 
on hospitals here. 

See, for example, Ludovica Sebregondi, La compagnia e V oratorio di San Niccolo del 
Ceppo (Florence: Salimbeni, 1985); eadem, Tre confraternite fiorentine. Santa Maria 
della Pieta, detta 'Buca ' di San Girolamo. San Filippo Benizi, San Francesco Poverino 
(Florence: Salimbeni, 1991). 

To this category belong short articles such as the following by Anna Padoa Rizzo: 
"Cosimo Rosselli e la tavola per la Compagnia dei SS. Innocenti," Antichita viva 30:6 
(1991), pp. 12-16; eadem, "L'altare della Compagnia dei Tessitori in San Marco a 
Firenze: dalla cerchia di Cosimo Rosselli al Cigoli," Antichita viva 4 (1989), pp. 17-24. 
The position of women in the lay-religious culture of the period is a subject increasingly 
well-served in the Italian literature, though the work of historians like Daniela Lombardi 
often draws its conclusions from institutions other than confraternities. See, for example, 
her articles and books including: "Poveri a Firenze: programmi e realizzazioni della 
politica assistenziale dei Medici tra Cinque e Seicento", pp. 165-85, in Giorgio Politi, et 
al (eds.), Timore e carita: i poveri nelVltalia moderna (Cremona: Biblioteca statale e 
libreria civica di Cremona, 1 982); Poverta maschile, povertdfemminile: L 'Ospedale degli 
Innocenti nella Firenze dei Medici (Bologna: II Mulino, 1988); "Le altre famiglie: assiste 
e serve nella Firenze dei Medici," Memorial Rivista di storia delle donne 18 (1986), pp. 
25-36; "Intervention by Church and State in Marriage Disputes in Sixteenth and 
Seventeenth Century Florence," in T. Dean and K. Lowe (eds.) Crime, Society and the 
Law in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 142-57. 

8 Confraternitas 10:1 

reader very early that his approach was descriptive rather than analytical. 6 
Throughout his survey, Black's account revealed large gaps in current knowledge 
of sixteenth-century popular religion. A decade later there is still no detailed 
analysis of the theme for sixteenth-century Florence, a lack which hinders 
interpretation of the society as a whole. 

It is against this general background that I have undertaken work towards a 
major study of confraternities in the Cinquecento. My current research aims not 
simply to fill a gap by confirming or denying hypotheses advanced in the recent 
secondary literature, though Florence has serious need of the kind of stock-taking 
that Christopher Black performed for the Italian peninsula, and this is certainly 
one primary objective. The project, however, is at least equally concerned to 
achieve a change of emphasis, given that a number of other secondary studies 
have considered confraternities from an overly ecclesiastical perspective 7 or have 
erred by treating them primarily as sociological phenomena — running the risk, in 
this second case, of draining them of their religious significance. The most 
important work in the latter group is Ronald Weissman's Ritual Brotherhood in 
Renaissance Florence. Valuable and, indeed, pathbreaking a book as this was, its 
insistence that Florentine confraternities functioned as an alternative to normal 
Florentine social relations and the interpretation of their rituals as "liminal" social 
action led the author to underplay the extent to which piety infused much of 
everyday urban life during the period between the fourteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. 8 The implicitly secularizing approach in Weissman's work is most 
problematic in the last two chapters where the author casts forward into the 
Cinquecento, proposing that the recurrent social, political and religious crises of 
the century's first decades caused a further crisis in lay-religious observance and 
devotion. After the confraternities had passed through a period of upheaval and 
repeated suppression in the first half of the century, Weissman argues, they once 
again became active, but had by now been transformed on one level into agents 
of social control enforcing religious orthodoxy and civic conformity, and on 
another into aristocratic clubs. 

It would be foolish to deny the enormous impact of combined social, military, 
political, and epidemiological crises and theological reform on sixteenth-century 
confraternities, and this indeed is not the objective of my current work. 
Weissman's relatively simple explanation of the situation after 1500 does not, 
however, convincingly portray the exact nature of the changes wrought and needs 

Christopher F. Black, Italian Confraternities in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 279 and 4 respectively. 

Gilles G. Meersseman, Ordo fraternitatis. Confraternite e pieta dei laid net medioevo, 3 

vols. (Rome: Herder, 1977). 

Ronald F.E. Weissman, Ritual Brotherhood in Renaissance Florence (New York: 

Academic Press, 1 980), pp. 26-35. See especially pp. 27 and 30, and my earlier comments 

on Weissman's work in Nicholas A. Eckstein, The District of the Green Dragon: 

Neighbourhood Life and Social Change in Renaissance Florence (Florence: L.S. Olschki, 

1995), pp. xx-xxi. 

Florentine confraternities, society and lay-religious life 9 

substantial modification. The author assumes too readily that crisis and an 
increasingly authoritarian political climate were the causes of widespread apathy 
amongst the membership of confraternities and that ordinary people ceased to 
have any voice in confraternal affairs. One source of this misunderstanding is an 
overemphasis on the many complaints in the records about failure to observe 
confraternal statutes and an alleged difficulty in finding office-bearers, particu- 
larly after the century's second decade. There are strong reasons (which I discuss 
in a forthcoming article) for believing that these complaints are more formulaic 
than they appear at first glance and that they need to be seen in a much broader 
context. More seriously, Weissman assumes a necessary connection between 
social crisis and the impulse to corporate lay devotion. In this analysis, piety and 
group worship are delicate flowers indeed, wilting suddenly in the Cinquecento's 
changing social and religious climate. The interpretation, indeed, strikes one as 
strange in a book which in the first place casts confraternities as organizations 
that functioned as an antidote to social crisis. At the very least, the conclusions 
about patterns of corporate devotion after 1500 are too easily made and need 
testing. 9 

My current research on Florentine confraternities in the sixteenth century 
does not aim to add one more institutional history to the pile of similar studies 
already published. Rather, the methodological approach has been similar to that 
of my earlier study of neighbourhood and religious community in fifteenth-cen- 
tury Florence. 10 Here confraternal piety was related to the religious context of 
late-medieval urban life as a whole, and conclusions were based on a wide range 
of evidence, confraternal and non-confraternal. While different in focus, the 
present research shares the objective of weaving sixteenth-century confraternal 
experience into its social fabric, thereby avoiding the danger of a too-narrowly- 
focused or simply institutional study. The records of twenty-five Florentine 
confraternities have to this point been systematically sampled, while half a dozen 
others — including the companies of Saint John the Baptist, called the Scalzo, 
Saint Sebastian, and the company of the Purification of Mary, also dedicated to 
Saint Zanobi — have been singled out for detailed analysis. 

At every point my current analysis of the sources seeks to investigate the 
devotional impulses of the confraternities' members, the companies' internal 
existence and the symbiotic relationship between the companies and society in its 

9 While more delicate use of Weissman' s conclusions has now been made — see, for 
instance, Nicholas Terpstra, Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance 
Bologna (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1 995), pp. 93 and 1 1 6 — there are signs 
that they have achieved the status of a received wisdom in the Anglophone world. When 
discussing Florence in the sixteenth century, for instance, Black, through no fault of his 
own, was constrained largely to rely on Weissman' s last two chapters. We read, therefore, 
that "[In the second half of the sixteenth century] Confraternities became reinforcements 
of parochial religious-social life; those representing wider neighbourhood or occupational 
groups were largely superseded." Black, Italian Confraternities, p. 29. 

10 See my The District of the Green Dragon, passim. 

1 Confraternitas 1 0: 1 

broadest sense. As already acknowledged, the atmosphere of social, political and 
religious crisis that pervaded the first four decades of the sixteenth century cannot 
be ignored, but the kind of impact that such crises had on the quality of urban life 
should constitute a conclusion, not a point of departure for research. 

In this project it is assumed that the crisis of the early sixteenth century had 
a transforming effect on confraternal life; judgements as to the quality of that 
transformation, however, destructive or otherwise, await more detailed consider- 
ation of the sources. This is a deliberate methodological choice based on the fact 
that it is simply too easy to subscribe to that nostalgia common to all periods and 
places, which afflicted sixteenth-century Florentines no less than their forebears, 
and which modern Italians invoke with the trope that "le cose non sono piu come 
una volta." Listening to contemporaries, one is encouraged, furthermore, to look 
only for violent and massive change, ignoring areas where change was absent, 
gradual, uneven or smooth. Contemporaries' sense that things were gloriously 
better at some indeterminate period in the past can also combine with historians' 
own natural propensity to read the late-twentieth-century present into the past. 
The risk in the context of the Reformation is particularly serious because the 
period saw the birth of many attitudes that have survived, albeit in modified form, 
into our own day. It needs to be borne in mind, to take just one example, that the 
transformation by which corporate (usually seen as "late-medieval") charity 
turned into a statist programme of philanthropy is in fact a gradual, not a 
specifically sixteenth-century phenomenon, as Henderson and Terpstra have most 
recently demonstrated. 11 The historian's problem is that it stands out in sharper 
relief after 1500 and in some ways looks newer than it really was, inviting facile 
conclusions about the populace's continued involvement in, or exclusion from 
poor relief. Much of sixteenth-century Florentine has a very modern appearance, 
and this will often be an indicator of genuine change, but the change can also be 
more apparent than real. Exaggeration of the sixteenth century's modernity gives 
rise to arguments that stress the culture's "proto-modern" or "early-modern" 
characteristics, that reinforce the tendency to divide urban experience into distinct 
"religious" and "secular" realms, 12 and encourages analyses with a diachronic 
rather than synchronic unity. 

If one may be allowed a truism, it is at least certain that Florence's lay-reli- 
gious life, especially as it may be observed and reconstructed through the city's 
confraternities, was complex rather than simple. An academic year of full-time 
research in Florence's archives and libraries has revealed that despite the thou- 
sand natural and unnatural shocks — and this includes repeated and sustained 
suppression — to which the men and women of Florence's confraternities were 
subjected in the sixteenth century, the companies' relationship with the city's 

1 1 Terpstra, Lay Confraternities, passim; John Henderson, Piety and Charity in Late 
Medieval Florence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 367-72 and passim. 

1 2 Carol Bresnahan Menning, for example, investigates the history of the Florentine Monte 
di Pieta from a rather secular viewpoint. See her Charity and the State in Late Renaissance 
Italy. The Monte di Pieta of Florence (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1 993) 

Florentine confraternities, society and lay-religious life 1 1 

history in its broadest sense remained dynamic. It is already clear that as long as 
evidence is sensitively used and contextualized, the surviving records of con- 
fraternities have far from yielded up all they have to offer to the historian. In this 
sense, the last generation of published research in this field may well, as its 
protagonists in the 1960s would have hoped, serve as the foundation and spring- 
board for further investigation of society as a whole between the fourteenth and 
sixteenth centuries, and not simply as a limited foray into one discrete aspect of 
the people's religious experience. 

The continued usefulness of confraternities as a point of access to the wider 
society, indeed, depends upon the area and the detail of the canvas on which they 
are located. In this sense, I hope that my current investigation of Florence's 
confraternities is broadly conceived without being overly ambitious. Research has 
already yielded insights into ways in which geographical neighbourhood and 
community relations were linked, activated and perpetuated after 1500. Changes 
in the way both were envisioned in the confraternal sources have much to say 
about the fault lines along which Florence was divided and within which its people 
drew together. The identification of these changes also affords new retrospective 
insights into the way neighbourhood and community, conceived of in lay-reli- 
gious terms, functioned in the Quattrocento. A great deal has been written about 
Florence's festive and public life, 13 but the defining and transforming effects of 
lay-religious consciousness on this behaviour, and the extent to which piety and 
confraternal liturgy were reified in the urban life of the period have not been 
investigated in detail; nor, I would suggest, will they emerge with any clarity 
before painstaking reconstruction of much of the minutiae that form the over- 
whelming bulk of the sources related to people's lay-religious observance in the 
religious companies. 

The history of Florence's confraternities before and after Trent reveals uses 
and perceptions of the city that are as fundamentally different from each other as 
they are from the preceding century. A changing social geography and the 
objectification of groups within the membership — women, fanciulli, priests, 
artisans and nobles — are accompanied by a reassessment and re-elaboration of 
local liturgies similar to events in Rome and in other northern Italian cities. This, 
of course, is to be expected, but as Simon Ditchfield has argued, the impact of 
universalizing tendencies within the Tridentine church played itself out variously 
according to local traditions, an observation that holds down to the level of 
individual parish and city-block. 14 Notwithstanding the Counter-Reformation 
Church's desire for conformity and uniformity, we are at this stage in no danger 
of repeating the results of research, like Ditchfield' s, performed by other histori- 

13 For the most important, comparatively recent, example, and for a bibliography of other 
earlier material, see Richard C. Trexler, Public Life in Renaissance Florence (New York: 
Academic Press, 1980). 

14 Simon Ditchfield, Liturgy, Sanctity and History in Tridentine Italy: Pietro Maria Campi 
and the Preservation of the Particular (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1995), 

12 Confraternitas 10:1 

ans in different cities. Rather, we stand to learn much about the city's history in 
the widest sense. The presence of the increasingly powerful dominant theological 
culture created by the Tridentine church, indeed, has a positive impact for the 
historian in the sense that while its effects could vary from place to place, the 
broad similarity and cognate relationship of new local religious render them 
susceptible to comparative analysis. 

My current work encompasses a twofold hope; in the first place, that a 
relatively large-scale study of Florence's confraternities might enhance our 
knowledge of the lay-religious context of sixteenth-century urban life in addition 
to teaching us more about the confraternities themselves. Second, I hope that, on 
the basis of any methodological strengths or weaknesses the study might have, it 
will be useful to scholars working on similar and related themes in other Italian 
and, indeed, European cities of this and other periods. 

Monash University, Melbourne, Australia 

Fellow of the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, 

Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy 

Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Cossar, Roisin. The Work of Salvation: Civic Piety in the Misericordia Maggiore of 
Bergamo, 1265-1365. Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1999. Supervi- 
sor, Professor Joseph Goering. 

One of the defining features of society in the later Middle Ages was the attempt 
by lay people to achieve personal salvation while maintaining their commitments 
to household, work, and community. The increasing interest in pious action 
among lay men and women during this period contributed to the formation of 
confraternities throughout Europe. Several recent works have examined the 
importance of these lay religious associations to the pious and social life of 
medieval and Renaissance communities. However, for the most part scholars have 
been more interested in examining the groups' collective activities rather than 
how the social circumstances of members shaped the structure and activities of 
confraternities. Two notable exceptions to this rule are Nicholas Terpstra's Lay 
Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna (Cambridge: Cam- 
bridge University Press, 1995), which includes a valuable discussion of female 
confraternity members, and Nicholas Eckstein's The District of the Green 
Dragon: Neighbourhood Life and Social Change in Renaissance Florence (Flor- 
ence: Olschki, 1995). 

Employing a variety of archival sources and an approach that includes both 
case studies and quantitative methods, my study investigates the convergence of 
individual identity and pious activities within Bergamo's confraternity of the 
Misericordia Maggiore during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The study 
also seeks to place the Misericordia' s civic actions within a social and pious 
context, and I argue in particular that the confraternity's charitable programme 
reflected the values of the entire community. 

The Misericordia Maggiore was the largest charitable confraternity in the 
northern Italian city of Bergamo during the Middle Ages, providing its members 
and the community at large with security in this world and the promise of salvation 
in the next. Founded in 1265, the Misericordia quickly became one of the city's 
wealthiest landowners. It drew its large membership from all of the city's 
neighbourhoods (vicinie) and from a wide swath of the city's social strata. In my 
study of the Misericordia, I employed the confraternity's matriculation lists as 
well as notarial documents, such as wills and land conveyances, to examine the 
identities and social status of confraternity members and officials. I turned to 
similar sources to examine the relations of the confraternity with the city's poor 
and local civic authorities. My conclusions encompass several concepts, includ- 
ing the impact of gender and social status on distinctions between members; the 
confraternity's development of a civic profile through its close relationship to the 
local government; and the levelling effect of the search for salvation on social 
boundaries within the community. 


14 Confraternitas 10:1 

Gender distinctions determined certain aspects of membership in the Miseri- 
cordia. The rituals of entrance into the confraternity appear to have differed for 
men and women. Men wishing to join the Misericordia faced a year-long novi- 
tiate, after which those selected to become members participated in an entrance 
ceremony. Women, by contrast, likely did not undergo a novitiate, but were 
instead inducted into the Misericordia upon expressing a desire to join the 
confraternity. The distinction between the entrance rituals for men and women 
reflected their relative importance to the administration of the company. Members 
were also subject to another type of division. As in other companies, women could 
not serve as officials of the Misericordia. Among the men, only a select group 
became fratres of the organization and were allowed to serve as confraternity 
officials. Perhaps as a result of these distinctions, social and kinship ties between 
individuals often motivated their entrance into the organization and likely 
remained important after they joined it. For example, we can identify instances 
of all the female inhabitants of a household or several members of a religious 
house joining the Misericordia at the same time. 

While there were divisions in the structure of the Misericordia' s membership, 
both men and women of all social ranks placed similar demands on the confrater- 
nity as they sought physical security for themselves and their families as well as 
salvation for their souls. For instance, both men and women looked to the 
Misericordia to provide shelter and other necessities for themselves or their 
family members during periods of civil strife. Accordingly, the confraternity 
made houses and land available to those who had been exiled from the city or to 
others contemplating the exile of their relatives from other communities. In their 
search for personal salvation, rich and poor Bergamasks of either sex left a variety 
of pious bequests to the Misericordia, explicitly breaking down the social barriers 
which separated them in life, a subject I consider at length in Chapter Three of 
my dissertation, "Public Trustee and Pious Body: Bequests and Donations to the 

Although it served as an agent of social stability within the city, the Miseri- 
cordia was formed primarily to assist needy individuals in the city and surround- 
ing area. Sources such as the confraternity's inventories and its records of 
charitable visits to the poor reveal that it expanded its charitable distributions 
substantially during the late thirteenth century. For example, inventories reveal 
that during the 1270s the capacity of the confraternity's wine barrels grew from 
4400 litres to 18,000 litres. This rapid growth of the confraternity's storage 
capacity was matched by a related rise in the company's distribution of alms to 
the poor during the period. The rapid growth in the confraternity's wealth during 
the late thirteenth century is another indication of its increasing capacity to 
distribute alms to inhabitants of the city. I analyzed the confraternity's cash 
holdings between 1267 and 1308 in Chapter Five, "Pro Opere Misericordie in 
Concordio: The Misericordia and Civic Government in Bergamo." 

While the Misericordia provided alms to the poor throughout Bergamo and 
its region, the confraternity's clients were not simply passive recipients of its 
charity. An analysis of records describing the poor reveals that some members of 

Theses Completed 1 5 

needy groups also made charitable donations to the Misericordia to benefit their 
own souls (in particular, I examined the city's wine porters and domestic servants, 
and found members of each group alternately receiving alms from the Misericor- 
dia and giving charitable donations or bequests to the association). Some of these 
individuals also became members of the confraternity. The experience of paupers 
within the confraternity as clients, members, and donors, should serve as a 
reminder that the relationship between medieval confraternities and the poor was 
never entirely one-way. Instead, the poor, like other citizens, treated the Miseri- 
cordia as both a social and a pious organization. 

Finally, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Misericordia, a 
stable institution in a politically unstable city, established a close rapport with 
local civic authorities. Through this connection the confraternity became the 
charitable arm of the government, providing, with the support of civic officials, 
alms to the poor. The civic government's support for the confraternity encom- 
passed cash donations, tax privileges, and the simplification of legal procedures 
in the company's favour. The connection between the Misericordia and local civic 
officials once again illustrates the nature of civic piety in the Middle Ages, as 
both government and pious organizations sought the same ends — security and 
salvation for all — through their involvement in local issues such as assistance for 
the poor. 

Medieval confraternities such as the Misericordia provide us with essential 
information about lay people's pious and social lives. The community outreach 
in which the Misericordia engaged, the structural divisions of its membership, 
and its cultivation of close ties with local governments all formed the foundation 
of civic piety in the later Middle Ages. Civic piety articulated through groups such 
as the Misericordia reflected the urban laity's twin commitments to social and 
pious principles, and, therefore, the interdependence of secular and spiritual 
spheres within medieval society. 

Dehmer, Andrea. Painted Processional Banners of Religious Lay Confraternities in 
Northern and Central Italy from their Beginnings Until the Era of Counter-Refor- 
mation. M.A. Thesis, University of Regensburg, Germany. 

The thesis surveys for the first time the surviving art works on canvas called 
gonfaloni produced in Northern Italy between the late Middle Ages and the end 
of the Renaissance. Commissioned mostly by lay confraternities, their functional, 
iconographical and technical analysis as well as their documentary integration in 
church and art historical contexts, will serve two significant purposes: (1) to 
illustrate the devotions and intentions of these companies who distinguished, 
represented, and even identified themselves with their signs; (2) to point out the 
considerable role played by the gonfaloni in the rapid spread of some religious 
motives and especially of painting on canvas in Italy. 

The reception of gonfaloni-display in literature and art, a hitherto almost 
absolutely neglected field in art history, is examined in a separate chapter. The 

1 6 Confraternitas 1 0: 1 

catalogue of traceable gonfaloni-painting from c. 1260 to c. 1570 provides a 
fundamental starting point for further exploration of this aspect of Italian and 
European art. 

Earenfight, Phillip J. The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia ("11 Bigallo"): 
Art and Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and Virtue in Late Medieval 
Florence. Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1999. Supervisor, 
Professor Sarah Blake McHam. 

This dissertation examines the art and architecture of the residence and loggia of 
the Compagnia di Santa Maria della Misericordia in Florence. The Misericordia 
was one of largest charitable confraternities in late medieval Florence. It was 
located in the physical and symbolic centre of the city, the Piazza San Giovanni, 
and stood near the Baptistery, Campanile, and Duomo. At this highly prestigious 
location the confraternity provided services to the city's needy and served as a 
public symbol of Florentine charity and civic virtue. 

The dissertation focuses on a series of projects commissioned by the Miseri- 
cordia from 1321, when it moved to the Piazza San Giovanni, to 1524, when it 
merged with the Compagnia di Santa Maria del Bigallo (by which name the site 
is currently known). It is a study of artistic patronage and how a lay pious 
institution defined its charitable mission through its art and architecture during a 
period of tremendous urban development, intense lay piety, horrific plagues, and 
the rise of Renaissance humanism. 

Five major projects are discussed: 1) the acquisition of property on the Piazza 
San Giovanni; 2) the painting of a fresco representing an Allegory of Divine 
Misericordia', 3) the expansion of the Misericordia' s residence through the 
acquisition of neighbouring property and the subsequent design, construction, and 
decoration of a new loggia and oratory; 4) the painting of a fresco cycle repre- 
senting the life of Tobit, the confraternity's patron saint; and 5) the painting of a 
fresco representing Members of the Misericordia Uniting Foundlings with Natu- 
ral and Adoptive Parents. 

This study is the first to consider these projects together as a vehicle for the 
understanding of the confraternity and how it defined its position in the complex 
urban and social fabric of Trecento Florence. Analysis of these projects 
demonstrates that over the course of the Trecento, the Misericordia identified its 
pious mission as a crucial feature in the city's religious and civic well-being. 
Moreover, it reveals that the confraternity commissioned two of the earliest 
surviving views of the city, promoted the idea of Florence as the New Jerusalem, 
and identified itself as the foremost symbol of Florentine charity. 


Society Directory. It is now eight years since we last issued a directory of members 
of the Society for Confraternity Studies. The time has come to do it again. Next 
October, with the fall issue, we will be including the SCS directory of members. 
Please be sure to return your membership renewal form with the necessary member- 
ship fees and the updated information. For further information, telephone (416) 
585-4486, fax (416) 585-4579, or email 

Call for papers. Colleagues interested in presenting a paper at the 35th Annual 
Congress of Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo), 

4-7 May 2000, should contact our Kalamazoo sessions organizer, Professor Joelle 
Rollo-Koster, as follows: email at; fax at (401) 874-2595; by 
post at the Department of History, Washburn Hall, University of Rhode Island, 
Kingston, RI 1 88 1 , USA. Deadline for submissions: 3 1 August 1 999. For informa- 
tion on the Kalamazoo congress in general please email its organizers at mdvl_con- 

For this fall's annual meeting of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, to be 
held in St. Louis, Missouri, on 28-3 1 October, Professor Lance Lazar has organized 
two sessions on our behalf, as follows. 

Session 1: "Confraternities and Music". Speakers: Mary Wolinski (Western 
Kentucky University, Bowling Green) "Music for the Confraternity of St. James 
in Paris"; Linda Maria Koldau (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet, 
Bonn) "Music for the Societa della Santa Croce, 1606: A Music Print as Testi- 
mony to Devotional Practice in a North Italian Confraternity"; Laura Buch (Dana 
School of Music, Youngstown, OH) "The Sienese Compagnia di Santa Caterina 
and Tomaso Pecci". 

Session 2: "Confraternities and Pageantry". Speakers: Konrad Eisenbichler 
(Victoria College, University of Toronto) "Performing Again: Returning to the 
Stage at the Confraternity of the Archangel Raphael in Florence"; Lance Lazar 
(University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) "Missions, Processions, and Jesuit 
Confraternities in Late Sixteenth-Century Italy"; Andreas Dehmer (University of 
Regensburg, Germany) "Iconographical, Functional, and Technical Aspects of 
Confraternal Processional Banners in Italy before the Counter-Reformation". 

This past March the Society for Confraternity Studies was accepted as an Affiliate 
of the Renaissance Society of America. Although we have been organizing sessions 
at the annual meetings of the RS A for several years, our new status as Affiliate Society 
makes our presence at the RS A "official" ! It also gives our Society a voice and a vote 
at the annual meeting of the RSA Council where policies (both fiscal and scholarly) 
are decided. 

At this past annual meeting of the RSA, this year at the University of 
California in Los Angeles, the SCS had sponsored one session on "Ritual 


1 8 Confrate rnitas J 0: 1 

Kinship in Cross-Cultural Contexts" (see the notice in the previous issue of 
Confraternitas). Attendance and the discussions were both very good. 

We now look forward to the Annual Meeting of the RSA, to take place on 
22-25 March 2000 in Firenze, Italy. Nick Terpstra once again organized the SCS 
sponsored session, this time on "Symbolic Kinship and Social Needs: Charity, 
Devotion, & Socialization in Renaissance Confraternities." The three presenta- 
tions will be by Ilaria Taddei (European University Institute, Firenze) on "Emer- 
gence and Development of Youth Confraternities in Fifteenth-Century Florence", 
by Marina Gazzini (Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano) on "Tra 
'religiosita delle opere' e 'camera assistenziale': la gestione dei luoghi pii 
milanesi nel Tre e Quattrocento", and by Sharon T. Strocchia (Emory University, 
Atlanta) on "Sisters in Spirit: The Nuns of Sant' Ambrogio and their Consorority 
in Early Sixteenth-Century Florence." 

At the Florence conference we look forward to seeing and meeting our 
European colleagues. For general information on the Florence meetings, please 
contact the RSA directly by email at or by visiting its web site at 

Congratulations to Giovanna Casagrande, who has won the 1997 Bertini Calosso 
Prize for her book Religiosita penitenziale e citta al tempo dei Comuni (Roma: Istituto 
Storico de' Cappuccini, 1995). The prize is offered by the Deputazione di Storia 
Patria per l'Umbria. In recognizing Casagrande' s work, the Selection Committee 
described it as: 

"Opera di grande erudizione, che rivelando la solida, pluriennale preparazione 
dell' Autrice nel campo della ricerca di storia religiosa, indaga sistematicamente e 
con ottimi risultati sui fenomeni e sulle manifestazioni in cui si esprimono le 
pratiche penitenziali dei laici, in particolare delle donne, a Perugia e nelle altre 
citta umbre durante il pieno e tardo Medioevo. II lavoro merita il massimo 

Our own reviewer had called the work "impressive", saying that "the author's 
description and analysis of the origin and growth of recluses, tertiaries, and 
disciplinati is both rich and insightful," and then concluded that "Casagrande has 
shown the way" to further research on this topic in other areas of Italy and Europe 
(see Paul Murphy's review in Confraternitas 8: 1 , pp. 26-27). Our congratulations 
to dott.ssa Casagrande for her well earned distinction! 

Professor Danilo Zardin informs us that the volume Carlo Borromeo el' opera della 
"Grande Riforma ": Cultura, religione e arti del governo nella Milano del pieno 
Cinquecento, reviewed in our previous issue (vol. 9:2, 1998, pp. 37-38) is now also 
available commercially through Editoriale Silvana (Milan). 

Remember to send a copy of your articles and books to Confraternitas. Please 
address them to: Confraternitas, CRRS, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1K7, Canada. All contributions will be listed in the "Publi- 
cations Received" rubric and then deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the 
Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. 

News 1 9 

Help us spread the good news about confraternity studies. You can do so by asking 
your library to subscribe to Confraternitas and to order back issues (the entire run of 
back issues from 1990 to 1998 can be purchased for only $75, including postage). 
Then, let your friends and colleagues, and especially your students, working on 
matters confraternal know of our existence and urge them to become members 
(especially now that the Directory of Members is about to be published). 


L'Archivio della Cancelleria Arcivescovile di Firenze. Inventario delle visite 
pastorali, ed. Gilberto Aranci. Pubblicazioni dell' Archivio Arcivescovile di Firenze, 
Inventari 2. Firenze: Giampiero Pagnini Editore, 1998. 303 pp. ISBN 88-8251-031- 
X. L. 38,000 

In a scenario worthy of Renaissance manuscript hunters, the keepers of the 
Florentine archdiocesan archive undertook some years ago to re-organize the 
holdings on pastoral visits and, in the process, turned up some items which they 
had not realized existed, or which they had thought were lost. Two examples 
relevant for scholars of Renaissance and early modern confraternities are the 
pastoral visits of Cosimo Pazzi (1508-1512), and the visits to the churches of the 
city by Antonio Altoviti (1568). Filling lacunae and re-organizing the collection 
rendered the previous 1957 inventory out of date, and provided scholars with a 
superior guide to holdings in the archive. 

Materials are organized in 4 series: \)verbali e atti di visita (VP), containing 
the bulk of official materials in notarial registers and books from 1383 onwards; 
2) documenti (VPD), containing loose miscellaneous materials relevant to visits 
from 1 568 onwards; 3) inventari dei beni dei benefici ecclesiastici (IBE) contain- 
ing inventories of properties, liturgical furnishings, and artworks which were 
generated in order to track local churches' adherence to synodal and visitors' decrees 
from 1477 onwards (though most materials are post- 1568); 4) documenti e relazioni 
delle 'visite ad limina' (VAL), a small series containing the archbishops' reports to 
Rome on the spiritual state of the diocese from 1632 onwards. 

The present volume provides inventories of these four series in turn. They 
are preceded by a brief chapter which reviews the visits of individual bishops and 
later archbishops of Florence from 1383 through 1930, and indicates the series in 
which material pertaining to their visits can be found. They are followed by an 
extensive toponomastic index organized by localities, with subheadings for 
parishes, pievi, oratories, and confraternities. The index helps work through this 
material, but it is still necessarily a partial index in that it does not replicate the 
toponomastic index for each visit found in the looseleaf inventories in the 
archive's reading room. In that sense, the volume is unintentionally misleading, 
since more materials on fifteenth and particularly sixteenth century confraternit- 
ies exist in the pastoral visit records than are indicated here. Naturally, the bulk 
of materials inventoried here dates from the seventeenth into the twentieth 
centuries. Nonetheless, students of the ecclesiastical structures and spiritual state 
of the city and diocese of Florence in earlier centuries will find this a helpful 
preliminary guide to a very rich fondo in a very rich archive. 

Nicholas Terpstra 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 


Reviews 2 1 

Arciconfraternite e confraternite. La societa cristiana a Roma e in Italia dalla 
riforma ai giorni nostri, ed. Antonello Lazzerini. Roma: Opera Madonna del Divino 
Amore Seconda, 1998. CD-ROM with 95 pp. booklet. L. 99,000. 

Produced in time for the 2000 Jubilee, Arciconfraternite e confraternite is a 
multimedia CD-ROM that presents a visually striking history of the twenty-four 
confraternities and aggregates that currently operate in Italy. Computer-savvy 
scholars will find this programme, designed by and for experts in the field of 
Italian confraternity studies, a well-researched and valuable resource. 

After a brief introduction, the CD-ROM presents a 1984 sermon given by 
John Paul II in St. Peter's in honour of the International Jubilee of the Confrater- 
nity. The user is then greeted with a map of Italy and is invited to explore one of 
four regions, each of which breaks down into subcategories of confraternities. 
Most confraternities give a history, bibliography and a photo essay, and some 
provide a list of aggregates (as in the Arciconfraternita della Trinita dei 
Pellegrini e Convalescenti in Rome) or a discussion of their activities to the 
present day (as in the Confederazione Nazionale Misericordie d' Italia in Flor- 
ence). Scholars of confraternity studies will appreciate text versions of many 
confraternal statutes; there are also useful historical essays on each of the con- 
fraternities featured in the programme, conveniently reproduced in the 95 pp. 
booklet accompanying the CD-ROM. The photo essays contain impressive 
images including crucifixes, garments, indulgences, paintings, and city maps as 
well as interiors and floor plans of confraternal spaces. While the user is enjoying 
this feast of visual imagery, he or she is treated to one of eleven segments of 
accompanying sacred music. 

While visually and aurally impressive, this CD-ROM is not very user- 
friendly, and this makes it difficult to access information quickly. This reviewer 
would have appreciated either a table of contents or a map of what the programme 
has to offer. It is difficult to manoeuvre about the various modules, as often one 
must pass the computer mouse over a specific area to realize that one can click 
on it and go further; this is the case for accessing the photo essays, for example. 
Also, the main pull-down menu provides a full bibliography of confraternity 
sources, but the background colour obscures the text and makes reading the menu an 
exercise in palaeography. These are, however, design and not content problems. 

The packaging of Arciconfraternite e confraternite proudly proclaims that it 
is "il primo prodotto culturale per il Giubileo" (the first cultural product of the 
2000 Jubilee). Perhaps, then, the best way to approach this CD-ROM is as a 
pilgrim, certain of the destination but unsure of the path to be followed. In short, 
one must be open to all the twists and turns of the road while enjoying the sights 
and sounds of this absorbing journey. 

Laura E. Hunt 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

22 Confraternitas 10:1 

Calzolai, Carlo Celso. Vaglia in Mugello, ed. Gilberto Aranci. Firenze: Giampiero 
Pagnini editore, 1998. 141 pp. ISBN 88-8251-030-1. L. 28,000 

Despite its small size, its few inhabitants, and the obscurity of its name, the tiny 
village of Vaglia, in the Tuscan Mugello, is rich in history and tradition. Though 
its official elevation to the status of a comune dates back only to 1809, its history 
can be traced throughout the centuries. This volume by Carlo Celso Calzolai 
offers an account of Vaglia' s long and unexpectedly interesting presence in the 
Tuscan cultural landscape from pagan prehistory to the Second World War. 

The volume is articulated into sixteen brief and yet detailed chapters, plus a 
long appendix. Most chapters deal with moments in the history of Vaglia. The 
second chapter, for example, examines the first primitive inhabitants of the region 
and then refers briefly to the periods of Etruscan and Roman civilizations up to 
the consolidation of the Christian faith in the area. The third chapter gives an 
account of the foundation of the pieve named in honour of St. Peter, a place 
destined to be a central landmark in the village's social life. The fifth and sixth 
chapters illustrate the village's major historical moments up to the Renaissance, 
while the last chapters deal with more recent years (the rise of fascism, World 
War Two, and the reconstruction). Other chapters deal with more domestic 
aspects of Vaglia' s life. The seventh, for instance, is a brief and interesting survey 
of the families who lived in the area in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
while the ninth recounts the religious celebrations held in the seventeenth century. 
The appendix contains ample excerpts of texts taken from the archives of the pieve 
di San Pietro that shed light on daily life in the community, among them the 
register of births and deaths, the 1679 inventory of the ecclesiastical goods of the 
pieve, a chronicle of the main events that occurred in Vaglia between 1745 and 
1853 (the years of good and bad harvest, the visits of notable people), and a list 
of l\\t pieve' s records from 1260 to 1953. 

A scholar interested in the presence of confraternities in Vaglia will find 
useful information at the beginning of chapter 8 (pp. 49-50) where, briefly, 
Calzolai refers to the presence of a confraternity in Vaglia in 1592 that had been 
founded in much older times. After the Council of Trent, this Compagnia della 
Madonna della Neve changed from its original Marian cult into a Eucharistic 
devotion. On 12 April 1584 the confraternity inaugurated a new oratory for itself 
next ot the main church; the site was conceived as a space suitable for the 
functions of the confraternity and consisted of a small church, a dressing room, 
and a refettorio where members could share meals together. Although Calzolai 's 
information on this confraternity is limited, the details he provides, the accuracy 
of the numerous annotations, and the rich bibliography can be very useful to 
scholars wishing to investigate the presence of confraternities in "secondary" 
areas of Tuscany, such as Vaglia and its surroundings. 


Department of Italian Studies 

University of Toronto 

Reviews 23 

Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain, eds. John Patrick Donnelly 
and Michael W. Maher. Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, 44. Kirksville, Missouri: 
Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999. 262 pp. ISBN 0-943579-60-4. US.$40. 

This recent collection of articles about the relationship between confraternities 
and Catholic reform brings some of the best-known names in confraternal studies 
(Christopher Black, Konrad Eisenbichler, Nicholas Terpstra) together with a 
variety of new and up-and-coming scholars. The collection focuses on the role of 
confraternities in "Catholic Reform" — the internal process of reform within the 
Catholic Church — rather than on the "Counter-Reformation" — the struggle 
against Protestantism. As a result, it focuses on three nations that were at the heart 
of Catholic reform and which remained predominantly Catholic: Italy, France, and 
Spain. Italy is the subject of half of the articles, France of four, and Spain of two. 

The articles are a mixture of five general studies and seven case studies, 
providing a pleasing variety of perspectives on the issues at hand. Although the 
contributors were asked to address the impact of the Council of Trent on con- 
fraternities, most of the articles (with some exceptions such as Maureen Flynn's 
survey of Spanish Baroque confraternities) focus on other issues, suggesting that 
Trent was merely part of an ongoing process of reform. It becomes clear over the 
course of the various essays that the impact of Catholic Reform varied widely 
according to the local circumstances of city, region, and confraternal devotion. 

If there is one overarching theme that emerges from all of these articles, it is 
the issue of control. The basic thrust of Catholic reform efforts was to bring the 
dangerously autonomous confraternities under the control of parish and bishop. 
This thrust was subject to many variations, and could have unintended conse- 
quences. The main themes of this issue are ably set out by Christopher Black in 
his opening survey of confraternal-parish relations in Italy, and the reader can 
then witness these issues being played out over the course of the subsequent 
articles. In some places, as one might expect, confraternities were indeed brought 
under the control of parishes and reformed through the efforts of bishops. In 
others, however, it was secular authorities who took control of the functions of 
confraternities (as in the case of Modena, studied by Michelle Fontaine), or 
implemented a reform program (as in Ally son Poska's study of Ourense in Spain). 
All of these themes could even be combined, as in Paul Murphy's Mantua where 
the Gonzaga bishop also wielded secular authority for a period, and both Church 
and State took control of and reformed the city's confraternities. 

On the other hand, as Konrad Eisenbichler points out in his study of Floren- 
tine youth confraternities, in many cases it was confraternities themselves who 
were eager to be reformed. Confraternities could furthermore serve as a prime 
instigator of reform within a parish, or even effectively take over a parish, a 
reversal of the intentions of Trent. As Ann Ramsey and Christopher Stocker 
demonstrate in their studies of French confraternities in Paris during the period 
of the Holy League, at the end of the French wars of religion, confraternities could 
be a vehicle for Catholic reform and zeal that went far beyond the comfort level 
of the Church hierarchy. 

24 Confraternitas 10:1 

Increased control over confraternities, whether it be by ecclesiastical or 
secular authorities, could have unintended consequences. After all, their auton- 
omy had always been one of the primary attractions of the confraternal model. 
When it was reduced, enthusiasm and participation in confraternal life could 
decline. On the other hand, in some cases (such as the Jesuit confraternities 
studied by Michael Maher and the French penitent confraternities studied by 
Andrew Barnes) the more rigid structure and control introduced by Catholic 
reform could increase the appeal of confraternities to the most devout sector of 
the population. Furthermore, even tightly-structured Catholic reform confrater- 
nities could still offer a vehicle with which to escape ecclesiastical control. Susan 
Dinan demonstrates that in seventeenth-century France St. Vincent de Paul's 
Daughters of Charity used confraternal status as a way to escape both episcopal 
control and the cloistering imposed on all female orders after Trent. 

Although each of the articles in this collection focuses on specific locations 
or issues, the fundamental importance of confraternities in early modern Catholic 
society, not only as actors but also as models of organization and behaviour, 
becomes subtly apparent over the course of the collection. Nicholas Terpstra's 
statement that, no matter how poor relief was organized in any given Italian city, 
it was fundamentally based on confraternities, whether as "models, vehicles, or 
expropriated resources" (p. 1 19), could easily be applied more broadly to the other 
issues and nations studied in this collection. 

Moreover, while the role of confraternities in social life and charity is well 
known, their importance in the exercise and struggle for power, whether economic 
or political, emerges indirectly in many of these articles. In Italy and Spain, they 
often served as a battleground between secular and religious authorities, or a 
vehicle for the expansion of power by a ruler or group. This role in the expression 
of political power is most apparent, however, in the two articles on French 
confraternities during the Holy League. Stocker explores the use of conflicting 
confraternities as a means of political organization and propaganda in the struggle 
between the civic and aristocratic factions within the Catholic Holy League, while 
Ramsey emphasizes the role of the public social activities of confraternities, such 
as civic processions, in sacralizing the civic space and creating an actively 
Catholic cityscape. 

While each of the articles in this collection is fairly focused on its own 
problematics, the accumulation of so many different perspectives on confraternal 
activity during the period of Catholic reform points to the fundamental role of lay 
religious confraternities in Catholic societies, not only through their own activi- 
ties, but also as models of organization and as vehicles for a wide variety of 
political, economic and social action. By helping to move confraternities to centre 
stage in early modern history, this collection reflects the continuing maturation 
of confraternal studies as a historical field. 

Dylan Reid 

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 

Victoria University, Toronto 

Reviews 25 

Corpi, "fraternita", mestieri nella storia della societa europea, ed. Danilo Zardin. 
Quaderni di Cheiron, 7. Roma: Bulzoni, 1998. 376 pp. ISBN 88-8319-239-7. L. 
50,000 [see "Publications Received" for a list of contents] 

The eighteen essays in this collection emanate from a congress held in 1996 in 
Trento, Italy, to examine the links between religious confraternities, social cor- 
porate bodies, and political power structures from the Middle Ages to the Enlight- 
ment. The volume is divided into three sections. The first focuses on the 
transformation of guilds, confraternities, and "kinships" during the Middle Ages 
and the Renaissance. The second examines corporate structures in the early part 
of the Modern Age, with additional insights into merchant guilds and Jewish 
corporations. The third is entirely devoted to studies of confraternities in the 
Trentino region of Italy. 

Danilo Zardin's introductory essay outlines the book's methodological 
approach. For him, religious confraternities and guilds were intertwined, espe- 
cially in the way they dealt with centralized political power. Zardin's approach 
departs from the traditional interpretation of political power as a force attempting 
to limit the autonomy of religious and social corporations to suggest, instead, that 
rather than limit the autonomy of religious and social corporate bodies, political 
structures channelled the power of religious and social corporate bodies. Accord- 
ing to this interpretation, the prince acted more like a guarantor than a tyrant, 
exercising a clearly defined role as arbiter of disputes between and within 
relatively independent corporate bodies. Zardin's theoretical analysis and his 
general methodological approach will undoubtedly find both supporters and 

Maria Grazzini analyzes a group of Venetian confraternities to determine the 
connection between religious confraternities and guilds. Brian Pullan's essay 
takes up from Grazzini' s and examines one particular Venetian schola, the Scuola 
Grande di San Marco. Pullan focuses on the distinction between brotherhoods 
whose charitable works were directed only towards their closed community of 
members and those that served the broader community. This interesting and 
exhaustive survey of the Scuola' s structure and works emphasizes that "within 
the microcosm of the Scuola Grande, there was ideally a reciprocal arrangement 
between rich and poor, each needing the services of the other, which reflected the 
structure of society at large created by divine providence" (p. 91). In his contri- 
bution on the Tridentine Church and the confraternite maggiori Nicholas Terpstra 
note that, starting in the sixteenth century, Italian confraternities became increas- 
ingly hierarchical and competitive. In many cities and towns in northern and 
central Italy this competitiveness brought together different categories of the 
wealthy people — patricians, merchants, and professionals — into single corpora- 
tions which, over time, became politically dominant and, not incidentally, increas- 
ingly paternalistic towards the poor. 

These, and the other contributions in the volume, make a valuable contribu- 
tion to the study of confraternities and their place in the development of European 

26 Confraternitas 10:1 

society over a wide chronological and geographical spectrum. They will offer 
scholars in the field many insights and ideas to consider further. 

Sandra Parmegiani 
Department of Italian Studies 
University of Toronto 

Kiinig von Vach, Hermann. Pilgerfuhrer nach Santiago de Compostela (1495), ed. 
Ludwig Hengstmann. Solingen: Verlag U. Nink, 1996. vii, 83 pp. 

The 1495 guidebook for pilgrims to Santiago de Campostela is photoreproduced 
in this brief volume accompanied by a facing-page, modernized German edition 
of the work. The editor has provided a short introduction, a considerable number 
of notes to the text, an index of place names, eight sketch maps, and a bibliogra- 
phy. This pamphlet sized publication commemorates the 500th anniversary of the 
writing and printing of Hermann Kunig von Vach's pocket-sized Pilgerbuchlein. 

Konrad Eisenbichler 
Victoria College 
University of Toronto 

Ogier, Darryl Mark. Reformation and Society in Guernsey. Woodbridge, Suffolk- 
Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 1996. xv, 223 pp., maps. ISBN 0-85115-6037. 

The Channel Islands are the last geographical remnants of English possessions in 
Norman France. The islands, situated just off the French coast in the Bay of Saint 
Malo, but ruled from England, have a unique history and have been influenced 
by historical, religious, and social trends from both countries. 

Reformation and Society in Guernsey is a revision of the author's doctoral 
thesis presented at the University of Warwick in 1993. The topic of Guernsey 
between 1540 and 1640 is a highly specialized one. Guernsey, whose population 
was French speaking and whose parishes were, in the pre- Reformation period, 
under the supervision of the Church in Normandy, is quite different from the rest 
of England. The Norman church was responsible for, but not overly concerned 
with, the Guernsey parishes. Priests willing to work on the island, with the 
exception of native born islanders, were hard to find and even harder to keep. Yet, 
despite this lack of interest from the Norman church, the author has found 
documentary evidence for over forty-four sixteenth-century fraternities on 
Guernsey and suggests there were many others for which no records have 
survived. Lay devotion on the island appears to have been vigorous and active in 
the pre-Reformation period, despite this lack of interest from the Church author- 
ities in France or England. 

Ogier offers a clear picture of the effect of each phase and counter-phase of 
the English Reformation on Guernsey. He shows that the Henrician Reformation 

Reviews 27 

had limited impact on the island. In contrast with the rest of England, Guernsey 
had no monasteries to seize, no large shrines to destroy, or centres of pilgrimage 
to demolish. The implementation of the Chantries Act of 1547, which lead to the 
seizure of revenues and assets of most intercessory institutions, however, was a 
more significant and serious threat to the island's traditional religious life. In 
addition, the harsh treatment of Huguenots under Henri II of France drew French 
refugees and evangelists to the island, thus further bolstering the Protestant cause 
at the local level. In turn, Ogier finds that strong English influences return with 
the reign of Mary. Guernsey's Royal Court during Mary's reign actively and 
vigorously promoted the restoration of Catholicism. Following English prece- 
dents, local Protestants were disciplined, arrested, tried and/or exiled and, in a 
one extreme case, burned by authority of Guernsey's Royal Court. 

When Protestantism is finally firmly officially reestablished in England 
under Elizabeth, however, Ogier shows that it is Calvinism which takes hold on 
Guernsey. During the reign of Mary, prominent Guernsey Protestants had sought 
refuge in Calvin's Geneva. Under Elizabeth, these local exiles returned home to 
spread their Calvinist beliefs. In addition, Protestant teachings from the Continent 
spread with the need for French language materials in Guernsey. Ogier documents 
the attempts and failures of Guernsey's Calvinist authorities, in both the Colloquy, 
comprised of "delegates from the parochial consistories," and the Royal Court, 
to control various aspects of the island culture, including work schedules, social 
activities, religious practices, sexual activities and practices, vagrancy, and crime. 
Ogier's use of local records presents a vivid account of daily life on Guernsey 
under the Calvinist regime and he documents the ways in which Guernsey's 
traditional Catholic institutions and charities were destroyed, supplanted, and 
replaced by Protestant alternatives. 

For readers specifically interested in confraternities, the author includes in 
an appendix a list of sixteenth-century fraternities and "lights." He also discusses 
island confraternities in some detail in chapter two, "The Order of Island Life: 
Religious." This book is a welcome addition to the study of the Channel Islands 
and offers a more current and detailed examination of Guernsey in the Reforma- 
tion period. It supplements and corrects some aspects of A. J. Eagleston's The 
Channel Islands under Tudor Government (1949) and offers a clear and concise 
view of Calvinist Guernsey. 

Jennifer M. Forbes 

Centre for Medieval Studies 

University of Toronto 

Publications Received 

The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been 
deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and 
Renaissance Studies (Toronto): 

Alhaique Pettinelli, Rosanna. "La Compagnia del Gonfalone e la Passione al Colosseo" 
Un 'idea di Roma. Societa, arte e cultura tra Umanesimo e Rinascimento. Roma: Roma nel 
Rinascimento, 1993, pp. 73-98. 

Aranci, Gilberto. L'Archivio della Cancelleria Arcivescovile di Firenze. Inventario delle 
visite pastorali, ed. Gilberto Aranci. Firenze: Giampiero Pagnini Editore, 1998. 303 pp. 

Arciconfraternite e confraternite. La societa cristiana a Roma e in Italia dalla riforma ai 
giorni nostri, ed. Antonello Lazzerini. Roma: Opera Madonna del Divino Amore Seconda, 
1998. 95 pp. and CD ROM. 

Calzolai, Carlo Celso. Vaglia in Mugello, ed. Gilberto Aranci. Firenze: Giampiero Pagnini 
editore, 1998. 141 pp. ISBN 88-8251-030-1 

Casagrande, Giovanna. "Perugia: il sacro e la citta" in Itinerari del sacro in Umbria, ed. 
Mario Sensi. Firenze: Octavo, Franco Cantini Editore, 1998, pp. 339-358. 

Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain, ed. John Patrick Donnelly 
and Michael W. Maher. Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, 44. Kirksville, Missouri: 
Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999. 262 pp. US. $40. ISBN 0-943579-60-4. Contains: 
Christopher F. Black "Confraternities and the Parish in the Context of Italian Catholic 
Reform" pp. 1-26; Konrad Eisenbichler "Italian Youth Confraternities in an Age of Reform" 
pp. 27-44; Paul V. Murphy "Politics, Piety, and Reform. Lay Religiosity in Sixteenth-Cen- 
tury Mantua" pp. 45-54; Michelle M. Fontaine "A House Divided. The Compagnia de Santa 
Maria dei Battuti in Modena on the Eve of Catholic Reform" pp. 55-73; Michael W. Maher, 
S.J. "How the Jesuits Used the Congregations to Promote Frequent Communion" pp. 75-95; 
Nicholas Terpstra "Confraternities and Public Charity. Modes of Civic Welfare in Early 
Modern Italy" pp. 97-121 ; Andrew E. Barnes 'The Transformation of Penitent Confraternit- 
ies over the Ancien Regime" pp. 123-135; Ann W. Ramsey "From Ontology to Religious 
Experience. Civic and Sacred Immanence in the Holy Sacrament Confraternities of Paris 
during the Catholic League" pp. 137-154; Christopher W. Stocker "The Confraternity of 
the Holy Name of Jesus. Conflict and Renewal in the Sainte Union in 1590" pp. 155-189; 
Susan Eileen Dinan "Confraternities as a Venue for Female Activism During the Catholic 
Reformation" pp. 191-214; Ally son M. Poska "From Parties to Pieties. Redefining Con- 
fraternal Activity in Seventeenth-Century Ourense (Spain)" pp. 215-231; Maureen Flynn 
"Baroque piety and Spanish Confraternities" pp. 233-245. 

Corpi, "fraternita ", mestieri nella storia della societa europea, ed. Danilo Zardin. Quaderni 
di Cheiron, 7. Roma: Bulzoni, 1998. 376 pp. ISBN 88-8319-239-7 [contains: Danilo Zardin, 
"Corpi, 'fraternita', mestieri: intrecci e parentele nella 'costituzione' delle trame di base 
della societa europea. Alcune premesse" pp. 9-36; Diego Quaglioni, "Corpus, universitas, 
pluralita di corpi: alle radici di un archetipo giuridico-istituzionale" pp. 39-49; Marina 
Gazzini, "Confraternite/corporazioni: i volti molteplici della schola medievale" pp. 51-71; 
Maria Teresa Brolis, "Comunita ospedaliere dell'Italia centro-settentrionale (sec. XII-XV). 


Publications Received 29 

Modelli, episodi e protagonisti" pp. 73-83; Brian Pullan, "Aid to brothers and charity 
towards all Christians" pp. 85-101; Nicholas Terpstra, "Kinship translated: confraternite 
maggiori and political apprenticeship in early modern Italy" pp. 103-1 15; Marco Santoro, 
"'Professione': origine e trasformazioni di un termine e di un'idea" pp. 117-158; Franco 
Buzzi, "II lavoro tra XVI e XVIII secolo. Alcune linee di riflessione teologica e spirituale" 
pp. 161-186; Daniela Frigo, "Continuity, innovazioni e riforme nelle corporazioni italiane 
tra Sei e Settecento" pp. 187-212; Simona Cerutti, "Identita individuale, identita 
corporativa: i mercanti torinesi e le loro istituzioni nel Settecento" pp. 213-225; Paolo 
Bernardini, "Kahal come universitas: evoluzione e forme del consenso e del dissenso 
individuale verso la struttura comunitaria ebraica nell' Italia settentrionale tra Cinque e 
Settecento" pp. 227-239; Daniele Baggiani, "Camere di commercio in figura di 
corporazioni. Note sulla politica degli interessi all'inizio del XVIII secolo" pp. 241-269; 
Milagrosa Romero Samper, "Las raices politico-culturales de la polemica ilustrada contra 
las cofradias en la Europa del siglo XVIII. El caso espanol" pp. 271-300; Cecilia Nubola, 
"Confraternite e associazioni legate al mestiere nella realta urbana trentina (secc. XVI-meta 
XVIII)" pp. 303-323; Monica Iudica (ed.) "Testi e stampe delle confraternite trentine (secc. 
XVI-XVIII)" pp. 324-330; Josef Gelmi, "Le confraternite del Tirolo fra eredita medievali 
e fioritura dell'eta barocca" pp. 331-339; Mauro Nequirito, "Le corporazioni di mestiere 
nel principato vescovile di Trento alia fine dell'antico regime: realta e 'mito' della crisi 
settecentesca" pp. 341-358; Luigi Trezzi, "II retaggio corporativo nel mutualismo e nelle 
societa operaie trentine dell'Ottocento" pp. 359-376.] 

Die Kalebasse 25 (Diisseldorf: Sankt-Jakobusbruderschaft, Jan. 1999). Contains, among 
other: Horst Degen "Jakobus auf Gotland" pp. 5-12; Horst Degen "Die Odyssee des 
Schonberger Jakobusaltares. Bilderzyklen zur Jakobslegende (4)" pp. 13-21. 

Kiinig von Vach, Hermann. Pilgerfuhrer nach Santiago de Compostela (1495). Ed. Ludwig 
Hengstmann. Solingen: Verlag U. Nink, 1996. vii, 83 pp. 

Levin, William R. "A lost fresco cycle by Nardo and Jacopo di Cione at the Misericordia in 
Florence" Burlington Magazine (Feb. 1 999), pp. 75-80. 

Militzer, Klaus. "Jakobsbruderschaften in Kdln", Rheinische Vierteljahrs blatter 55 (1991), 
pp. 84-134. 

Niccoli, Ottavia. "I 'fanciulli' del Savonarola: usi religiosi e politici dell'infanzia nell' Italia 
del Rinascimento" in Savonarole. Enjeux, debats, questions. Actes du colloque international 
(Paris, 25-26-27 Janvier 1996), ed. A. Fontes, J.-L. Fournel, M. Plaisance. Paris: Universite 
de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Centre Censier, 1997, pp. 105-120 

Ogier, Darryl Mark. Reformation and Society in Guernsey. Woodbridge, Suffolk-Rochester, 
NY: The Boydell Press, 1996. xv, 223 pp., maps. ISBN 0-851 15-6037. US.$ 75. 

Polizzotto, Lorenzo. Review of Konrad Eisenbichler, The Boys of the Archangel Raphael. 
A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 1411-1785 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998) 
in Parergon 16 (1988), pp. 152-155. 

Rollo-Koster, Joelle. "Forever After: The Dead in the Avignonese Confraternity of Notre 
Dame la Majour (1329-1381)" Journal of Medieval History 25:2 (1999), pp. 1 15-140. 


Volume 10, No. 2, Fall 1999 



Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art at the Museo del Bigallo in 


William R. Levin 3 

Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Carlsmith, Christopher Henry. Schooling and Society in Bergamo, 

1500-1650 (University of Virginia, 1999) 15 

David D' Andrea, Civic Christianity in Fifteenth-Century Treviso: The 

Confraternity and Hospital of Santa Maria dei Battuti (University of 

Virginia, 1999) 16 

News 18 


Alemannno, Antonio, et al.. La confraternita del SS. Sacramento e 

Rosario di Mottola (sec. XVI). (Mary Alexandra Watt) 20 

// buonfedele. Le confraternite tra medioevo e prima eta moderna 

(Roisin Cossar) 21 

Carrara, Francesca, Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti. Gli istituti di 
beneficenza a Firenze. Storia e architettura (Antonio Ricci) 23 

Domfnguez Leon, Jose. La sociedad sevillana en la epoca isabelina 

(William J. Callahan) 24 

Fassina, Giuseppe. Fraternita monzese tra medioevo ed epoca 

contemporanea (Maria Galluzzo) 24 

Newbigin, Nerida. Feste d'Oltrarno. Plays in Churches in 

Fifteenth-Century Florence (Teresa Simm) 25 

Percorsi diprotezione della gravidanza delparto e della prima infanzia, 

ed. Giancarlo Baronti (Deana Basile) 28 

Sandri, Lucia. UOspedale di S. Maria della Scala di S. Gimignano nel 
Quattrocento. Contributo alia storia delVinfanzia abbandonata (Nicholas 
Terpstra) 29 

/ tesori delle confraternite (Mary Alexandra Watt) 30 

Verdi Webster, Susan. Art and Ritual in Golden-Age Spain. Sevillian 
Confraternities and the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week (Deana 
Basile) 31 

Publications Received 33 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art at the 
Museo del Bigallo in Florence 


The small complex of structures on the Piazza del Duomo in Florence known as 
the Museo del Bigallo houses one of the city's lesser known collections of 
painting and sculpture. Open only sporadically in recent years, the museum has 
never been among the more popular destinations for visitors to the Tuscan capital, 
scholarly or casual. The buildings themselves have been studied by architectural 
historians, and the works of art displayed within have all been catalogued. In 
addition, two recently published documents have revealed the former presence of 
an important fourteenth-century fresco cycle that included ten scenes of the Virgin 
Mary. They covered portions of the currently whitewashed walls on the ground- 
floor level, against which the museum's collection is now displayed. Their loss 
is unfortunate for a number of reasons, not least because these paintings probably 
demonstrated the inventive powers of their creator, Jacopo di Cione — a major 
figure in Florentine late-Trecento art — at the moment he emerged as an indepen- 
dent master and before his ingenuity began to flag. More than that, however, they 
point to the curious fact that, to date, there has been no attempt to understand — as 
far as one can — what would seem to be the underlying assumption tying together 
a large percentage of the collection. This study seeks to establish the pre-eminent 
role of the Virgin Mary among the paintings and sculptures here, a circumstance 
that cannot be accidental given the narrow provenance and focused purpose of 
these works. For the Museo del Bigallo is not a gallery composed of broadly 
varied objects acquired here and there purely on the basis of quality and/or visual 
interest. Rather, it is an accumulated institutional collection consisting of works 
of art expressly reflecting the pious motivations and activities of the dedicated 
individuals who over many years met on the premises and created the collection. 

Summer study grants from Centre College, Kentucky, supported the research for and 
preparation of this article. The author wishes to thank Sigg. Gianfranco Graus and Susanna 
Cilloni for their help in securing two of the illustrations for this article. This essay on 
Marian imagery is dedicated to the memory of Mary L. Buxbaum, whose rigorous 
standards it seeks to emulate. 

For the architectural history, see Howard Saalman, The Bigallo: The Oratory and 
Residence of the Compagnia del Bigallo e della Misericordia in Florence (New York: 
New York University Press for the College Art Association of America, 1969); and the 
review of this book by Marvin Trachtenberg published in Art Bulletin 53 (1971): 521-23. 
References to the two catalogues of the museum's collection appear in the text and notes 

William R. Levin, "A Lost Fresco Cycle by Nardo and Jacopo di Cione at the Misericordia 
in Florence," Burlington Magazine 141, no. 1151 (February 1999): 75-80. 

4 Confraternitas 10:2 

Originally the Museo del Bigallo functioned as the headquarters of the 
Compagnia di Santa Maria della Misericordia, an influential lay charitable asso- 
ciation in Florence probably founded in the thirteenth century. The contiguous 
buildings comprising it were erected in two stages during the fourteenth century 
in close proximity to the Cathedral complex. 4 Today greatly altered, the residence, 
used mainly for the company's business affairs, sits on property purchased by the 
confraternity in 1321-22 from a member of the Adimari family. Just after 
mid-century, a certain Giovanni di Albizo Pellegrini donated to the Misericordia 
the adjacent corner lot, where the Via dei Calzaiuoli (formerly the Corso degli 
Adimari) runs into the Piazza del Duomo. Thanks to further testamentary bequests 
that flowed in as a result of the recent Black Death, the company was able to 
construct an oratory and loggia on this site. Devotional activities primarily 
celebrating the Virgin Mary as company patroness took place in the oratory, 
which consists of two bays, each capped by a quadripartite vault. The single- 
bayed loggia, open on two sides and similarly covered, served as a symbol of the 
confraternity's philanthropic mission and as the place where, it is believed, one 
of its principal charitable endeavours periodically took place: the uniting of 
foundlings and orphans with natural or adoptive parents. 5 It is the interior walls 
of the oratory and loggia that once were decorated with Jacopo di Cione's Marian 
fresco cycle as a visual supplement to the prayers of the company brethren. That 
today the museum bears the name "Bigallo" reflects the fact that in 1425 the 
Misericordia was merged with the Compagnia Maggiore di Santa Maria del 
Bigallo. Established, according to tradition, by the early Dominican St. Peter 
Martyr in the thirteenth century, the Bigallo was another large benevolent insti- 
tution that maintained hospitals and hospices in Florence and its environs. When 
the companies were definitively separated a century after their unification, it was 
the Bigallo that retained control of the building complex previously shared by the 
two groups, while the Misericordia relocated close by. 

All paintings and sculptures inside the Museo del Bigallo and attached to its 
exterior date from the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries, but by far the greatest 
number belong to the Trecento and Quattrocento. Not surprisingly, given the 

On the early history of the Misericordia, including the acquisition and significance of its 
centrally located site, see most recently William R. Levin, "Advertising Charity in the 
Trecento: The Public Decorations of the Misericordia in Florence," Studies in 
Iconography 17 (1996): 215-309, esp. 217-19 and accompanying notes; and Phillip J. 
Earenfight, 'The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia ("II Bigallo"): Art and 
Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and Virtue in Late Medieval Florence" (Ph.D. 
diss., Rutgers University, 1999). Saalman (The Bigallo, 10, 44^5 [docs. 1-3]) among 
others (see Levin, "Advertising Charity," 278 n. 6) has transcribed the two documents 
concerning the acquisition of property; Earenfight provides the fullest discussion of them. 
On the work of the Misericordia with parentless children and the role in this activity played 
by the loggia, see Levin, "Advertising Charity," 221-34, 242^4, 246-47, 267, 275-77; 
and idem, "'Lost Children,' a Working Mother, and the Progress of an Artist at the 
Florentine Misericordia in the Trecento," Publications of the Medieval Association of the 
Midwest 6 (forthcoming 1999). 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art 5 

dedication of both the Misericordia and the Bigallo companies to Christ's mother, 
regarded as the perfect embodiment of Amor proximi — neighbourly love — and 
therefore an exemplar for both, the Virgin Mary is, along with her Son, the subject 
in a majority of the works of art in the collection. 6 The fundamental article jointly 
authored by Giovanni Poggi, I. B. Supino, and Corrado Ricci that initially 
presented the contents of the museum was published at the time it was organized 
in 1904. 7 The authors were able to provide indications and in some instances 
documentation concerning the origins of some of these objects featuring Mary, 
and of others, too, but the degree of certainty behind their pronouncements 
necessarily varied according to the data available. For example, they catalogued 
as Bigallo commissions a well-known mid-thirteenth-century croce dipinta pic- 
turing the Virgin twice, as well as a panel of a century later painted on both 
surfaces with the Madonna and Child and saints in the cusp on one side. 8 In each 
case, the authors' affirmation of Bigallo patronage is irrefutable, albeit based 
solely on intrinsic evidence. In the former, that evidence was supplied by the 
rooster (gallo) at the foot of the crucified Christ, which appeared for centuries 
thereafter on the company's heraldic device. On the latter occasion, the authors' 
proof resided in both the lengthy recounting of the establishment of and pardons 
granted to the Bigallo confraternity written on one side of the panel and, opposite 
this, below the aforementioned Madonna, in the representation of the presumed 
company founder St. Peter Martyr investing the institution's first captains with 
banners. For neither object, however, could the three historians specify an original 
location. In contrast, they uncovered ample documentation for a trio of small and 
seldom-noted fourteenth-century statues representing the Madonna and Child 
flanked by SS. Peter Martyr and Lucy, both secondary patrons of the Bigallo. 9 
All three sculptures are now set within tabernacles on the exterior of the loggia, 
above the northern arch. Unequivocally, the records reveal that originally these 

6 Mary's role as paragon and purveyor of merciful love among humans traces back to 
the Patristic Age, when she was first credited as being the chief mediator between 
Christ and His sinful human brethren. The basis of her power in this regard lay in her 
motherhood of God in His human aspect. Theological references to this effect are 
countless. Especially worth noting in connection with this is the similarity — and even 
the interchangeability — of the image of the Nursing Madonna and closely related 
types that establish her maternity of Christ on the one hand, and the personification 
of the virtue Charity with one or more nurslings on the other. On the first half of this 
equation, see Levin, "Advertising Charity," 242-43, 296 n. 83 (with additional 
references); on the second half, see Max Seidel, "Ubera matris: Die vielgeschichtige 
Bedeutung eines Symbols in der mittelalterlichen Kunst," Stadel Jahrbuch, n.s., 6 
(1977): 79; and Nancy Rash Fabbri and Nina Rutenberg, "The Tabernacle of 
Orsanmichele in Context," A rt Bulletin 63 (1981): 398-99, 401. 

7 Giovanni Poggi, I[gino] B[envenuto] Supino, and Corrado Ricci, "La Compagnia del 
Bigallo," Rivista d'arte 2 (1904): 189-244, esp. 203-25 (the partially illustrated cata- 
logue) and 225-44 (the register of documents). 

8 Ibid., 215 and 220-22, respectively, with reproductions on 216 and 220 (a detail). 

9 Ibid., 191-93, 230-32 (docs. II, 1). 

6 Confraternitas 10:2 

figures decorated the former residence of the Bigallo company several blocks 
away, which was subsequently demolished. The deduction of Poggi et al. that 
only following the merger of the confraternities in 1425 were they transferred to 
their present location — once the property of the Misericordia exclusively — was 
borne out decades later thanks to an ensuing archival discovery. 10 The authors of 
the 1904 article also knew of a lost triptych painted in 1416 by Mariotto di Nardo 
featuring the Virgin and Child between the Dominican St. Peter Martyr and the 
Florentine patron saint John the Baptist that forms an interesting parallel to the 
three statuettes on the loggia exterior. 11 An archival notice testifies to its execu- 
tion for the oratory attached to that same early Bigallo residence, but an inventory 
of 1453 mentions it as in the nearby oratory of the consolidated Misericordia- 
Bigallo company, and another of 1576 confirms that it was still there in what by 
then had become the seat of the Bigallo alone. Subsequently removed, this 
triptych resurfaced at an auction in Paris in 1987. 12 

Surviving documents left no doubt in the minds of Poggi and his co-authors 
as to the authorship and original location of two other sculpted Marian images at 
the Museo del Bigallo, each far more renowned than the middle statuette above 
the northern loggia arch just mentioned. Alberto Arnoldi supplied life-size figures 
of the Madonna and Child flanked by two candle-bearing angels for the oratory 
altar, and also carved the exterior relief of Mary and the infant Christ filling the 
lunette above the portal on the north facade of the oratory, commissions executed 
from 1359 to 1364 and in 1361, respectively. 13 In both cases the finished works 
remain in situ today, but while Poggi, Supino, and Ricci understood the vicissi- 
tudes of ownership of the building complex, curiously the second-named scholar 
referred to Arnoldi' s three freestanding figures as made "for the altar of the chapel 
of the Bigallo." 14 Of course, in the mid Trecento the oratory was in the sole 
possession of the Misericordia, and it was that company which employed the 
sculptor on both occasions. Less grievously, but somewhat misleadingly, Poggi 

10 The statues were moved on 18 March 1445 (modern style). See Saalman, The Bigallo, 
19, 54 (doc. 15). 

11 Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 192, 192 n. 2, 233-34 (docs. 11,3). For the more 
recent history of the triptych, see Ugo Procacci, "L'affresco dell'Oratorio del Bigallo ed 
il suo maestro," Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 17 (1973): 320, 
320-21 n. 38 and fig. 6. 

12 A brief report of the triptych's reappearance was published in the 26 November 1987 
edition of the Florentine newspaper La Nazione. I wish to thank Signora Clementina 
Campodonico Nardelli for bringing this notice to my attention. 

13 Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 193-95, 210-13, 226-28 (docs. 1,2 and 1,3, 
respectively), with reproductions facing 212 and on 213. These documents and other 
transcriptions of them are noted in Levin, "Advertising Charity," 242, 251-53 and 
accompanying notes. See also n. 17 below. Jacopo di Cione's ten wall scenes from the 
life of the Virgin (see above), completed in 1370, complemented Arnoldi's Madonna and 
Child altarpiece sculpture, acting like a gigantic series of predella panels but fanning out 
to either side of the confraternal cult image rather than providing it support from below. 

14 Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 212-13. 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art 7 

failed to emphasize that Ridolfo Ghirlandaio's three predella panels and the 
tabernacle they adorn, made in 1515 to house Arnoldi's altarpiece sculptures, 
were not, strictly speaking, either Bigallo or Misericordia commissions. 15 On a 
single panel located just below Arnoldi's Madonna and Child is figured a 
Madonna of Mercy set between smaller scenes of the Nativity and the Flight into 
Egypt. Beneath Arnoldi's two flanking angel statues are represented on the other 
predella panels the death of St. Peter Martyr to the left and the apocryphal Tobit 
and his son Tobias burying a cadaver to the right. Although the Misericordia and 
Bigallo companies had been formally separated in 1489, they continued to share 
the residence and oratory until at least 1523. 16 Thus, while Ghirlandaio's central 
panel presents three scenes, all of which appropriately feature Mary, patroness of 
both societies, the panel with Peter Martyr alludes specifically to the Bigallo — 
again, he was believed to be its founder — while that with the scene of burial surely 
refers to the Misericordia insofar as Tobit was that confraternity's secondary 
patron, and burial of the dead was an office pertaining to the Misericordia in 
particular, especially after that confraternity's re-establishment as a legally inde- 
pendent entity. 17 In other words, Ghirlandaio must have enjoyed the sponsorship 
of both groups in what may have been their final collaborative action. As proof, 
the combined arms of the two companies appear twice on the tabernacle, carved 
in relief and separating the three predella panels one from another. 

Such turn-of-the-century lack of precision concerning the altarpiece statues 
and their Renaissance-era enframement and predella reappeared in the catalogue 
section of Hanna Kiel's more thorough volume on the Museo del Bigallo, 
published in 1977. This is especially surprising because her introductory essay 
reported correctly the chronology of ownership of the building complex, the facts 
of the two Arnoldi commissions, and the existence of the combined arms on the 
base of the tabernacle. 18 Kiel did endorse the earlier authors' opinions on the 

1 5 Ibid., 1 97, 229-30 (docs. 1,5). The tabernacle with predella panels of 1 5 1 5, in presentation 
and style fully of the High Renaissance, fashionably supplanted the original altarpiece 
arrangement that was contemporaneous with Arnoldi's statues. On the earlier 
composition, see Gert Kreytenberg, "Die trecenteske Dekoration der Stirnwand im 
Oratorio del Bigallo," Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 20 ( 1 976): 
397^03; followed by Levin, "Advertising Charity," 253-56 and accompanying notes; 
and idem, "A Lost Fresco Cycle," 76. 

16 See Levin, "Advertising Charity," 280 n. 14, in which minor and here inconsequential 
discrepancies over the exact dates are noted. 

17 On the importance of burying the dead to the refounded Misericordia, see ibid. Dedication 
to this good work in particular was written into the new statues of the confraternity, 
published in full in Ugo Morini, Documenti inediti o poco noti per la storia della 
Misericordia di Firenze (1240-1525) (Florence: Venerabile Arciconfraternita [della 
Misericordia], 1940), 59-72 (doc. 23, dating these statutes to 1490). 

1 8 Hanna Kiel, // Museo del Bigallo a Firenze, Gallerie e musei di Firenze, directed by Ugo 
Procacci (Milan: Electa Editrice, 1977), 3-6 (the introductory essay), 123-24 (cat. nos. 
22-24: Ghirlandaio's predella panels of 1515, left to right), 125-26 (cat. nos. 31-33: 
Arnoldi's Madonna and Child and the two angels of 1359-64), 128 (cat. no. 41: the 

8 Confraternitas 10:2 

Bigallo origins of other Marian works of art in the museum, including the croce 
dipinta, the two-sided panel, the trio of sculptures set within tabernacles on the 
exterior of the loggia, and the triptych by Mariotto di Nardo. 19 Without explana- 
tion she also claimed that a statuette in the museum representing the Madonna 
and Child, which she attributed to Arnoldi, was "of Bigallo provenance." 20 

Like her predecessors, however, Kiel failed to offer suggestions concerning 
the original ownership or location of other transportable paintings and sculptures 
in the Museo del Bigallo, with or without a Marian iconography. Instead, she 
limited herself to paraphrasing the words of Poggi and Ricci, that "the works of 
art [were] property of the Bigallo, which until [1904] were dispersed and little 
known," and that they "were collected from various offices and institutions 
dependent upon the Bigallo." 21 Kiel's reticence, and that of the earlier schol- 
ars, was probably due to the lack of sufficient documentation revealing 
anything about the early histories of those works of art, including thirteen 
additional paintings and sculptures in the museum that prominently figure the 
Madonna or, where she is now absent, strongly imply her former presence. 
Potentially, any of them may have entered into the possession of the Bigallo 
company at any time prior to 1904. 

To be sure, a quartet of these Marian objects which predate the moment in 
1425 when the Misericordia and the Bigallo were joined could have been made 
for either confraternity, subsequently passing into the hands of the combined 
institution and then winding up in the possession of the Bigallo — and hence the 
museum — after the union of the two companies was dissolved. 22 Stylistic consid- 
erations dictate that eight more of the thirteen were executed during the years of 
the confraternal consolidation, from 1425 to c. 1523, and thus, like the 

tabernacle of 1515, again noting the combined coat of arms, yet repeating the error 
concerning the patronage of this tabernacle and the altarpiece statues). Kiel's volume 
provides reproductions of all works of art in the museum, including those mentioned 
earlier in this article, keyed to their individual catalogue numbers. 

19 Ibid., 1 17 (cat. no. 1: the croce dipinta); 3, 5, 1 19-20 (cat. no. 5: the two-sided panel); 3, 
5 (the three exterior sculptures); for references to the triptych by Mariotto di Nardo, 
including its documentation in inventories other than those mentioned earlier, see 3, 5, 
121 ( 11). 

20 Ibid., 125 (cat. no. 30). 

21 Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 202 (Poggi), 215 (Ricci); and Kiel, Bigallo, 6. 

22 These four earliest Marian images are: the famous triptych of 1333 securely attributed to 
Bernardo Daddi, an unattributed statuette in wood of Tuscan manufacture carved c. 1370, 
a pair of triptych wings from c. 1400 picturing the Annunciation and two saints — which 
likely flanked a now-missing central panel featuring the Madonna and Child — given to 
Lorenzo di Bicci, and a Madonna of Humility from the first years of the fifteenth century 
issuing from the workshop of Mariotto di Nardo. Respectively, they are mentioned or 
discussed in Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 224-25 (reproduced on 224 and facing 
page), 214, 218, 219; and in Kiel, Bigallo, 1 17-18 (cat. no. 2), 127 (cat. no. 35), 121 (cat. 
no. 10), 121 (cat. no. 11). The attributions here are those of Kiel. The author is preparing 
a separate study of the triptych by Daddi. 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art 9 

Ghirlandaio predella, might have been products of joint sponsorship that remained 
with the Bigallo after the two companies again went their separate ways. 23 
Conversely, it must be admitted that any or all of these dozen artworks, including 
the first group of four, originally may have had nothing to do with either society, 
that at some unknown date decades or even centuries later they became the 
property of the Bigallo through donation or purchase from private sources simply 
because they featured the company patroness. Only the latest of these thirteen 
undocumented Marian images now in the Museo del Bigallo manifestly post- 
dates the period of confraternal union. 24 For that reason, it more likely represents 
a commission by or for the Bigallo in particular, although here again the date 
alone does not exclude the possibility that it came to that institution only 

Three of the thirteen problematic Marian artworks in the museum, however, 
including that latest one and two earlier pieces from the period of consolida- 
tion, possess internal evidence at least pointing in the direction of specific 
confraternal patronage. First, a large altarpiece of about 1490, ascribed to the 
so-called Alunno di Benozzo, represents an enthroned Madonna and Child 
with six saints and a pair of angels (Fig. 1). It is a standard composition of the 
popular sacra conversazione type. The small figure genuflecting in the right 
foreground who carries her eyes on a saucer is identifiable as St. Lucy. Her 
presence among the aforementioned trio of fourteenth-century statuettes that 
originally adorned the early Bigallo residence is a reminder that St. Lucy had 
long been a secondary protectress of the Bigallo company. But a host of 
archival documents establish that St. Lucy was venerated by the Misericordia, 

23 The eight objects featuring the Virgin datable to the period 1425-c. 1523 include: a 
Madonna of Humility of the second half of the Quattrocento from the shop of Neri di 
Bicci, another Madonna of Humility with two angels of c. 1460 given to Domenico di 
Michelino, a half-length Madonna and Child of c. 1470 by the Master of San Miniato, 
Jacopo di Sellaio's tondo of about a decade later with a Madonna of Humility surrounded 
by two angels and St. Peter Martyr and Tobit (see the following discussion), an altarpiece 
of c. 1490 ascribed to the Alunno di Benozzo presenting the Madonna and Child enthroned 
among six saints and two angels (again, see the subsequent discussion), a 
contemporaneous half-length Madonna and Child proceeding from the school of 
Botticelli, another tondo of the same period attributed to the Master of the Johnson 
Magdalen with a Madonna of Humility flanked by a pair of angels and venerated by the 
infant John the Baptist, and a Tuscan polychromed terracotta tondo of the late fifteenth 
century figuring the Nativity. Respectively, these are mentioned or discussed in Poggi, 
Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 219, 218-19 (reproduced on 219), 217 (reproduced on 217), 
223-24 (reproduced on 223), 222-23, 215, 222, 214; and in Kiel, Bigallo, 121 (cat. no. 
12), 122 (cat. no. 16), 122 (cat. no. 17), 123 (cat. no. 18), 123 (cat. no. 19), 123 (cat. no. 
20), 123 (cat. no. 21), 127 (cat. no. 37). The attributions here and in the following 
discussion are those of Kiel. 

24 This last Marian image presents a Madonna in Heaven encircled by angels with a male 
child and a female child, dated c. 1570 and attributed by Kiel and other recent scholars 
to Carlo Portelli (see the following discussion). Poggi, Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 217; 
and Kiel, Bigallo, 124 (cat. no. 26). 

10 Confraternitas 10:2 

Figure 1 . Alunno di Benozzo, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Six Saints 
and Two Angels, c. 1490, Museo del Bigallo, Florence. (Photo: Archivio 
Fotografico Electa, Milan) 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art 11 

.00, well before its merger with the Bigallo. 25 Indeed, this may help to explain 
the evident welcome that those Bigallo sculptures received when they followed 
the Bigallo brethren themselves to the Misericordia, as suggested by their 
conspicuous placement facing the Piazza del Duomo above the northern loggia 
arch. Using analogous logic, while the selection process for the other five 
saints surrounding the Virgin and Child in the Alunno di Benozzo's panel 
remains unexplained, the presence and prominent position of St. Lucy (despite 
her diminutive size), so close to that of an actual worshipper similarly kneeling 
at the foot of this altarpiece, provides circumstantial evidence that this late- 
quattrocento painting was a joint commission of the two companies. 

More assuredly, the presence of the Dominican St. Peter Martyr with cloven 
head and the blind Tobit flanking a Madonna of Humility with two angels in a 
tondo by Jacopo di Sellaio of a decade earlier bears witness to the confraternal 
union then still in effect (Fig. 2). The positioning of these secondary patrons of 
the Bigallo and the Misericordia, respectively, to the left and right of their shared 
main protectress, makes this panel a devotional prototype for Ridolfo 
Ghirlandaio's chiefly narrative predella of 1515 for the oratory altarpiece. But as 
for the Alunno di Benozzo's sacra conversazione and, in fact, all thirteen of the 
enigmatic Marian images at the Museo del Bigallo, the original location of 
Sellaio' s tondo remains a quandary. It may have been placed inside any one of 
the numerous hospitals and hospices supervised by the federated companies. 

Finally, the very latest of the Marian works of art in the Museo del Bigallo 
depicts a Madonna in Heaven with angels adored by a male child and a female 
child (Fig. 3). Painted about 1570 and now attributed to Carlo Portelli, its 
iconography establishes beyond reasonable doubt what its date alone does not: 
that it was a Bigallo commission. For in 1541, not many years after all lingering 
aspects of the confraternal merger were eradicated, the Bigallo was reorganized 
and officially appointed to oversee the care of parentless children in Florence, 
superseding the Misericordia and other such institutions in that capacity. 26 

25 In the Florentine archives there is a document dated 9 January 1365 (Florentine style) 
recounting how the Camaldulensian monks of San Salvatore in Florence petitioned the 
Misericordia to include their church among the possible venues where the company 
celebrated annually the Mass for abandoned children on the Feast of St. Lucy. Quoted 
and discussed in Luigi Passerini, Storia degli stabilimenti di beneficenza e d'istruzione 
elementare gratuita delta citta di Firenze (Florence: Tipografia Le Monnier, 1853), 
458-59, 902-03 (doc. Q); and in Levin, '"Lost Children'" (forthcoming). The 
confraternity engaged in other activities, too, each year on St. Lucy's Day during the 
fourteenth century, as revealed in archival records to be discussed by the author in another 
future study. 

26 The responsibility of the Bigallo for foundlings and orphans may in fact go back to 1489, 
when the union of the Misericordia and the Bigallo was legally dissolved. For the role of 
the Bigallo with parentless children, see the contemporary discussions in Ferdinando 
Leopoldo Del Migliore, Firenze citta nobilissima (Florence: Nella Stamp[eria] della 
Stella, 1684), 78-79; and Giuseppe Richa, Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine, vol. 
7 (Florence: Nella Stamperia di Pietro Gaetano Vi viani, 1 758), 272-77. See also Passerini, 

12 Confraternitas 10:2 

Figure 2. Jacopo di Sellaio, Madonna of Humility with St. Peter Martyr, Tobit, and 
Two Angels, c. 1480, Museo del Bigallo, Florence. (Photo: Alinari/Art Resource, 
New York) 

Almost certainly, the two children in the painting venerating the heavenly 
Virgin, patroness of the Bigallo, represent the city's foundlings and orphans. 28 
In support of this reading, the young girl in the painting holds a rosary, a 
devotional aid propagated by the Dominicans in particular, which recalls the 
legendary establishment of the Bigallo by St. Peter Martyr. With Portelli's canvas, 

28 Regarding these children, Kiel (Bigallo, 1 24 [cat. no. 26]) arrived at the same conclusion. 
Noteworthy is the fact that the pendant to this painting, also in the Museo del Bigallo, 
depicts Charity personified as a young woman with three nurslings before her and, at her 
back, a youth. He, like the two children in Portelli's first painting, is probably to be 
identified as a foundling or orphan. This latter canvas is mentioned briefly in Poggi, 
Supino, and Ricci, "Bigallo," 217; and in Kiel, Bigallo, 124 (cat. no. 27). 

Confraternal Self-Imaging in Marian Art 13 

Figure 3. Carlo Portelli, Madonna in Heaven with Angels Adored by Two Children, 
c. 1570, Museo del Bigallo, Florence. 

14 Confraternitas 10:2 

legendary establishment of the Bigallo by St. Peter Martyr. With Portelli's canvas, 
however, this sort of analysis of the Marian objects in the Museo del Bigallo ends. 
Although further archival research may clarify the origins of the remaining 
Marian pieces, the works of art themselves offer no further clues on account of 
the simplicity and conventionality of their imagery. 

Centre College 
Danville, Kentucky 

Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Carlsmith, Christopher Henry. Schooling and Society in Bergamo, 1500-1650. 
Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia, May 1999. xxxvi, 325 pp. Co-supervisors, 
Professors Duane J. Osheim and Anne Jacobson Schutte. 

Italy's contributions to the development of education span the centuries: the 
medieval universities of Salerno and Bologna, the humanist academies of the 
Renaissance, the Jesuit colleges of the Catholic Reformation, and the elementary 
education of Maria Montessori. This dissertation explores the interaction of 
schooling and society in northern Italy from the early sixteenth through the 
mid-seventeenth century. This analysis of civic, ecclesiastical, confraternal, and 
family records not only provides a detailed portrait of how pre-university school- 
ing functioned in Bergamo, but also draws comparisons with instruction offered 
in neighbouring cities of the Veneto and Lombardy. Bergamo's experience 
exemplifies critical developments in the history of early modern Italy and allows 
us to identify and understand the impact of Renaissance humanism, Tridentine 
Catholicism, and Venetian domination. This dissertation challenges traditional 
stereotypes about Renaissance schooling, rural literacy, ecclesiastical-lay con- 
flict, and the relationship between centre and periphery in the Venetian Republic. 
It goes beyond prior scholarship in the field by combining a comprehensive 
overview of schooling with "thick description" and local context. A study of 
schooling extends beyond mere intellectual history. Through an analysis of the 
skills, ideas, and behaviours that parents wished to transfer to their children (or 
that rulers wished to impose upon their subjects), we can obtain a clearer sense 
of the dominant concepts and values in a society. Thus an analysis of schooling 
provides a window into the collective mentalites of a society in any age. 

In Chapter 1 this dissertation analyzes the efforts of the commune of 
Bergamo to instruct local youth by hiring renowned humanists, founding an 
independent college, conducting joint ventures with the bishop, and hiring reli- 
gious orders of men as schoolmasters. In Chapter 2 it considers the myriad actions 
of lay confraternities, especially those of the Misericordia Maggiore, which 
founded schools, hired teachers, offered scholarships, and provided books. Chap- 
ter 3 focuses on schooling promoted by institutions of the Catholic Church, 
including Schools of Christian Doctrine, clerical academies, Jesuits and 
Somaschans, and the Seminary. Chapter 4 discusses parental efforts to educate 
their own children. Chapter 5 compares Bergamo's experience with those of 
Brescia, Vicenza, and Verona. 

Readers of Confraternitas will find Chapter 2 of greater interest to them. It 
describes the multiple actions of lay confraternities in support of education in 
Bergamo from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. Much of the chapter is 
devoted to exploring the role of the Misericordia Maggiore (MIA), Bergamo's 
largest, wealthiest, and most powerful charitable organization (Roisin Cossar's 
abstract in the Spring 1999 issue of Confraternitas discusses the structure, 


16 Confraternitas 10:2 

membership, and activities of the Misericordia Maggiore in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries). Beginning in the fourteenth century, the MIA distributed 
scholarships to deserving students; by 1610 it had assisted hundreds of pupils to 
study grammar, rhetoric, law, theology, and medicine. The MIA also dispensed 
subsidies in kind (grain, clothing, firewood) to needy students, and also loaned 
books and provides housing for teachers. In 1506 the MIA established a day 
school to train aspiring priests, followed by a residential Academy of Clerics in 
1566. In 1531 it founded a small residential college in Padua exclusively for 
Bergamasque students who wished to study at the university. In addition to the 
MIA, half a dozen other lay confraternities supported education by establishing 
neighbourhood schools and hiring teachers. The confraternities of S. Alessandro 
in Colonna, S. Alessandro della Croce, S. Lorenzo, and S. Spirito each contributed 
in diverse ways to the expansion of schooling in sixteenth- and seventeenth-cen- 
tury Bergamo. 

This dissertation reveals the array of educational options that existed in 
Bergamo, as well as the surprising degree of cooperation among various institu- 
tions that promoted education. Confraternities worked closely with the commune 
and with the episcopate to encourage schooling for both lay and ecclesiastical 
students. It further shows that, with two important exceptions, Venice granted its 
subject cities a good deal of autonomy in local educational matters. Although 
schooling in Bergamo displayed certain idiosyncrasies, the city's educational 
network can serve as an example of educational resources available in many small 
and medium-sized provincial Italian cities during the Renaissance. 

D' Andrea, David. Civic Christianity in Fifteenth-Century Treviso: The Confra- 
ternity and Hospital of Santa Maria dei Battuti. Ph.D. thesis, University of 
Virginia, May 1999. Supervisor, Professor Anne Jacobson Schutte. vii, 283 pp. 

Fifteenth-century Italy constitutes one of the watersheds in western civilization: 
city-states became territorial empires, population growth and new learning trans- 
formed the urban landscape, and a new religious spirit changed the dynamic of 
civic life. This dissertation investigates these transformation by examining a 
confraternity and civic hospital in Treviso, the first city of the Venetian mainland 
empire. Treviso formed the essential link in Venice's chain of terraferma cities 
that transformed Venice from a trading power to a territorial state. Political and 
social policies established in Treviso formed a template for the Venetian empire, 
admired by all of Europe for its stability and longevity. At the same time that 
Venice was extending onto the mainland, religious changes were sweeping all of 
Italy. A new awareness of Christian responsibility for the present world was added 
to the traditional medieval emphasis on contemplation, asceticism, and penance. 
This new "civic Christianity" was the product of an urban society imbued with 
humanist learning, a society where civic leaders sought to honour God, their city, 
and their families through public charity and devotion. 

Elites of Trevisan society did not cease political posturing once Venice had 
eliminated the power of communal bodies, and the confraternity of Santa Maria 

Theses Completed 17 

dei Battuti provided an outlet for political ambitions. Leaders of Trevisan society 
migrated to the Battuti and its hospital, which not only provided critical social 
services for Treviso but also became, through its organization of public ritual, a 
vehicle of civic pride. Local leaders expected to be honoured and recognized for 
their role in providing charity for the community and administering important 
charitable bequests. In the course of the fifteenth century the Battuti became a 
miniature commune, providing many essential services and acting as a surrogate 
for direct political power. This study of the Battuti of Treviso contributes to our 
understanding of the territorial state and the relationship between capital and 
subject cities. 


Congratulations to Ilaria Taddei for the successful completion of her dottorato di 
ricerca in history at the Istituto Universitario Europeo, Firenze. Her thesis, submitted 
in December 1998, was entitled Fanciulli e giovani. Crescere a Firenze nel 
Rinascimento and examined the place of youth confraternities in Florentine society 
from their foundation in the early fifteenth century to the end of the republican period 
(1530). Congratulations are also in order for her recent appointment as mattre de 
conferences in the department of history at the Universite de Grenoble (France). 

The Society for Confraternity Studiesm, now an affiliate of the Renaissance Society 
of America, has organized a session at the RSA meetings to be held in Florence, 
Italy, 21-25 March 2000. The session deals with "Symbolic Kinship and Social 
Needs: Charity, Devotion, and Socialization in Renaissance Confraternities." The 
chair will be Daniel Bornstein and the presentations will be by: Sharon T. Strocchia, 
"Sisters in Spirit: The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio and their Consorority in Early 
Sixteenth Century Florence"; Ilaria Taddei, "Emergence and Development of Youth 
Confraternities in Quattrocento Florence"; and Marina Gazzini, "Tra "religiosita 
delle opere" e "camera assistenziale": la gestione dei luoghi pii milanesi nel Tre e 
Quattrocento". There will be at least another couple of presentations touching directly 
on confraternitites: Antonio Rigon will speak on "On Confraternities (or Medieval 
Foundations)" and Nicholas A. Eckstein will speak on "In Search of the People: an 
Interim Report on Florentine Confraternities and Lay-Religious Life in the Early 

Call for papers. Colleagues interested in presenting a paper at the annual meeeting 
of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, to be held on 1-5 November 2000 
in Cleveland, Ohio, are asked to contact Prof. Lance Lazar, Dept of Religious Studies, 
101 Saunders Hall CB 3225, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, 
USA; email at 

The Society will not be sponsoring sessions at the annual Congress of Medieval 
Studies at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo) in May 2000. Anyone 
interested in participating in the May 2001 meeting is asked to contact Prof. Joelle 
Rollo-Koster, Dept of History, Washburn Hall, University of Rhode Island, Kings- 
ton, RI 01881, USA, email or fax at (401) 874-2595 before 
May 2000. 

Remember to send a copy of your articles and books to Co nf rater nitas. Please 
address them to: Confraternitas, CRRS, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 
Toronto Ontario M5S 1 K7, Canada. All contributions will be listed in the "Publica- 
tions Received" rubric and then deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the 
Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. 

Help us spread the good news about confraternity studies. You can do so by asking 
your library to subscribe to Confraternitas and to order back issues (the entire run of 


News 1 9 

back issues from 1990 to 1998 can be purchased for only $75, including postage). 
Then, let your friends and colleagues, and especially your students, working on 
matters confraternal know of our existence and urge them to become members. 


Alemannno, Antonio, et al.. La confraternita del SS. Sacramento e Rosario di 
Mottola (sec. XVI). Introduction by Liana Bertoldi Lenoci. Centro Ricerche di 
Storia Religiosa in Puglia, 1 1. Mottola (TA): Edizioni Stampasud, 1998. 442, [5] 
pp., 106 illustrations [with five chapters by Antonio Alemanno, and one each by 
Mimma Pasculli Ferrara and Vito Fumarola] 

Given the continuing social role that confraternities play in modern-day Puglia, 
it is not surprising that they have become the focus of academic and cultural 
interest in that region. That interest, together with the consistent and prodigious 
efforts of the Centro Ricerche di Storia Religiosa in Puglia to document and 
preserve the history and legacy of the numerous Pugliese lay associations, has 
produced, in most recent years especially, a continuing series of publications that 
provide confraternity scholars with invaluable studies of a variety of confraternity 
issues. This latest offering from the Centro is no different. Focusing on the 
Confraternity of the SS. Sacramento e Rosario in Mottola, it presents a thorough 
study of a confraternity whose origins can be traced back to the thirteenth century. 

The book consists of seven chapters prefaced with an introduction by Liana 
Bertoldi Lenoci. In her introduction, Bertoldi Lenoci gives a concise and emi- 
nently readable overview of the origins, evolution and activities of lay con- 
fraternities in general. Bertoldi Lenoci suggests that confraternities are a natural 
outcome of our need for assistance from others. The form of such assistance, or 
the organization that provides it, is, in turn, influenced by societal factors, most 
notably by a belief in the divine. From here, the book turns to the specific case of 
confraternity activity in Mottola. 

In the chapter on the history of Mottola ("Mottola nel tempo"), Antonio 
Alemanno considers the historical events that affected the town's development 
starting from the siege of Hannibal and proceeding through Norman domination, 
the rise and fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and a succession of feudal Lords in 
the centuries that followed. The study then turns to the confraternity itself. Like 
many others, this sodality had its traditional origins in the thirteenth century, but 
specific documentation of its existence comes to light only much later. As 
Alemanno points out in the second chapter, "Una confraternita d'eta moderna 
(sec. XVI) ispirata ad antichi culti," documenting the exact founding date of this 
confraternity is no easy task. Having addressed the issue of the confraternity's 
origin, Alemanno then devotes the next three chapters to an examination of the 
sodality's life in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These chap- 
ters are punctuated with a variety of illustrations that underline the continuing 
vitality of the brotherhood. 

The next two chapters, "La Chiesa del SS. Sacramento e Rosario" and "La 
Chiesa del Rosario di Mottola: l'edificio di culto e gli aspetti della devozione 
confraternale" by Mimma Pasculli Ferrara and Vito Fumarola respectively, pro- 
vide a virtual catalogue of the artifacts, architecture, and interior design of the 


Reviews 2 1 

two churches associated with the confraternity. Included in Fumarola's chapter 
is a series of photographs of the Holy Friday procession still celebrated by the 
confraternity, attesting to the very real and continuing presence of the confrater- 
nity ethos in present-day Mottola. 

The bibliography and appendix of documents that follow will be of enormous 
value to those scholars actively involved in historical research into the continuing 
activities of confraternities and into their devotional focus. The continuing value 
of this publication, it seems to me, lies in the comprehensive approach it takes to 
a single confraternity; locating it historically, socially, and geographically, thus 
providing a witness to a rich past while securing the foundations for future study. 

Mary Alexandra Watt 

Department of French, Italian & Spanish 

Brock University 

// buon fedele. Le confraternite tra medioevo e prima eta moderna. ([Verona]: 
Quaderni di storia religiosa, 1998), 286 pp., 2 ill., 2 graphs 

More in the tradition of Meersseman than Weissman, the essays in // buon fedele: 
le confraternite tra medioevo e prima eta moderna emphasize the devotional 
function of Italian confraternities over their civic or social roles. Solidly rooted 
in Italian or European approaches to the study of confraternities, the essays also 
provide evidence of increased communication between Italian academics and 
those studying Italy in other parts of the world. Included in the volume are 
references to studies of Italian confraternities by several "English-speaking schol- 
ars" over the past decade. 

The essays address several aspects of the devotional activities of confraternit- 
ies. These include preaching to confraternities (Laura Gaffuri), the information 
contained in account books of Roman confraternities (Anna Esposito), and reform 
and confraternities in Milan during the time of Carlo Borromeo (Danilo Zardin). 
In her introduction, "Le confraternite medievali: studi e tendenze storiche," the 
editor of the volume, Lorenza Pamato, while noting that non-Italian scholars have 
called for more wide-ranging studies of confraternities across the Italian penin- 
sula, is unrepentant about the regional approach of these essays. She suggests that 
non-Italian scholars who bemoan the campanilismo of Italian local studies are too 
"extreme" (p. 10) and that broad-ranging studies of confraternities across the 
peninsula are rather "premature" (p. 1 1). At the same time, Pamato identifies the 
"North American" socio-anthropological approach to confraternity sources as 
beneficial to the discipline and argues that the dialogue between different meth- 
odologies must continue (p. 32). 

Regional studies such as those included in this volume continue to have value 
for Italian and non-Italian scholars alike; no scholar can do without the references 
which these works contains. However, studies of individual confraternities such 
as those included here are sometimes hampered by a too-narrow use of sources 
or the absence of a larger context for the historian's claims. To illustrate, I would 

22 Confraternitas 10:2 

like to concentrate on one essay in this volume, the article entitled "Mille e piu 
donne in confraternita: il consortium Misericordiae di Bergamo" by Maria Teresa 
Brolis and Giovanni Brembilla. In the essay, the two historians raise the import- 
ant — and somewhat neglected — question of women's participation in con- 
fraternities. They base their research on an important document for the history of 
female membership in confraternities: a matriculation list containing the names 
of about 1700 women who subscribed to Bergamo's confraternity of the Miseri- 
cordia Maggiore during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. They 
argue that the list provides evidence of a "consistent female presence" in the 
confraternity. Further, they state that it suggests the Misericordia was particularly 
successful with the female population of the city. In support of this argument they 
cite the company's founding rule, which stated that all members of the Miseri- 
cordia, both male and female, derived equal spiritual benefits from the 
confraternity's devotional activities. 

Although the discussion of the matriculation list provides valuable evidence 
for a large number of women joining a medieval confraternity, the article does 
not take into account questions regarding the actual nature of women's member- 
ship in the confraternity. In particular, we need to know more about the women's 
experience of the Misericordia compared to that of its male members. A study of 
a wider variety of sources in the Misericordia' s archive suggests some answers 
to those questions. For instance, an examination of the confraternity's account 
books reveals that in relation to male members, women made few charitable 
donations to the Misericordia. The distribution of charity to the poor was one of 
the main reasons for the company's existence, and yet female members as a whole 
did not participate in this aspect of confraternal experience. Such findings suggest 
that in theory women participated equally with men in the devotional life of the 
organization, but in practice women derived fewer spiritual benefits than men 
from the experience of membership in the Misericordia. 

While it is in some ways unsatisfying, this article serves as a step forward 
for research into confraternities. By exploring the experience of women within 
the Misericordia, Brolis and Brembilla raise questions about the gendering of 
confraternity membership and its consequences for men's and women's pious 
lives. Similarly, the other contributors to this volume also address issues relevant 
to scholars of confraternities in Italy and elsewhere. Their work challenges us to 
join the debate about interpretations of lay piety in the past. 

Roisin Cossar 
Department of History 
University of Manitoba 

Reviews 23 

Carrara, Francesca, Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti. Gli istituti di 
beneficenza a Firenze. Storia e architettura. Saggi e documenti della storia 
dell'architettura 33. Firenze: Alinea, 1999. 191 pp., b/w and colour illustrations 
ISBN 88-8 1 25-3 1 1 -9. L. 40,000. 

This book investigates the history of charitable institutions in Florence, following 
up and building on an homonymous exhibition organised in that city by the three 
authors in April and May of 1998. 

In the introductory chapter, the authors sketch a brief overview, from medi- 
eval to contemporary times, of the development of these istituti, variously 
founded by religious orders, confraternities, and individuals, and they emphasise 
the close relationship between their evolution and the social, economic, religious, 
architectural, and urban history of Florence. Each of the ten essays that follows 
is devoted to a single institution. The focus throughout is on the architecture of 
the buildings that housed the institutions and on the paintings, sculpture, furnish- 
ings, and decorative materials collected therein. The authors anchor their account 
of the architectural and artistic fortunes of these buildings to a reconstruction of 
the institutional history of each organisation. 

Ulisse Tramonti studies the Bigallo, a lay association of medieval origin, and 
the celebrated Istituto degli Innocenti. Francesca Carrara and Ludovica 
Sebregondi examine the Pia Casa di Lavoro di Montedomini, which over the 
centuries has served variously as hospital, convent, and poorhouse. Several essays 
are devoted to educational institutions. Tramonti treats the Istituto San Silvestro, 
which was founded in 1865 to house and educate poor girls. Carrara examines the 
Istituto Demidoff, established in 1828 as an elementary school for poor children, 
the Pia Casa di Rifugio di Sant'Ambrogio, founded in the nineteenth century for 
giovani traviate on the premises of a Benedictine convent suppressed by the 
French in 1808, and the Pio Istituto de' Bardi, another nineteenth-century insti- 
tution, set up as technical school; with Sebregondi she looks at the Educatorio 
della SS. Concezione di Fuligno, until 1973 a school for poor girls. 

Two essays by Sebregondi will be of particular interest to scholars of 
confraternities. In the first, she studies the architectural complex known today as 
the Istituto di Santa Agnese dell'Opera Pia del Bigallo. Various associations 
operated on these premises, including the Compagnia or "Buca" di San Paolo, a 
confraternity, founded in 1434, which counted Lorenzo de' Medici among its 
members. In the second, she considers another confraternity, the Congregazione 
di San Francesco della Dottrina Cristiana, which was established around the 
beginning of the seventeenth century by the Blessed Ippolito Galantini to promote 
religious instruction. 

The essays are furnished with copious and detailed notes which attest to the 
original archival research carried out by the authors. The volume includes a wealth 
of illustrations and architectural plans, and to each essay are appended the schede, 
all by Sebregondi, that accompanied the material shown in the original exhibition, 
much of which is reproduced here in photographs. The book also includes a 
bibliography, an index of names, and 15 pages of colour plates. 

24 Confraternitas 10:2 

This volume is an important introduction to the study of Florentine charitable 
institutions and a useful contribution to scholarship on the religious, artistic, and 
social history of the city. 

Antonio Ricci 

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 

Victoria University 

Domihguez Leon, Jose. La sociedad sevillana en la epoca isabelina. Una vision 
a traves de la religiosidad (1833-1868). Cordoba: Publicaciones obra social y 
cultural cajasur, 1999. 588 pp. ISBN 84-7959-271-0. 

The end of absolute monarchy in 1834 and the triumph of liberalism began a 
period of political, social, and economic change i Spain that transformed the 
country. The transition from the absolutist certainties of the past to a society 
dominated by an emerging bourgeoisie was conflictive and unsettling. 
Domfnguez Leon provides a comprehensive study of this process in Seville 
through a detailed and clear analysis of its institutions, its society, especially the 
family and its religious life in a time of gradual secularization. There is little, 
however, on the hermandades and cofradias once so numerous in the city during 
absolute monarchy when religion and public life were more deeply intertwined 
than in nineteenth-century liberal Spain. Spanish liberals had little use for broth- 
erhoods and confraternities embodying the class distinctions of the Old Regime 
and dependent for their survival on endowments of urban and rural property. In 
1841, the government of General Espartero struck the final blow by ordering the 
sale of property of hermandades and cofradias for the benefit of the public 
treasury. Some survived, of course, but as associations of private individuals 
rather than as public and religious corporations ingrained in the fabric of tradi- 
tional, hierarchical society. 

William J. Callahan 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

Fassina, Giuseppe. Fraternita monzese tra medioevo ed epoca contemporanea. 
Monza: Rotari Club Monza Est e Monda Nord/Societa di Studi Monzesi, 1999. 
256 pp. ill.; no price, no ISBN 

The city of Monza, once part of the Duchy of Milan, is not only rich in history 
and culture, but also of interest to scholars working on lay religious movements. 
Giuseppe Fassina' s study on the confraternities of Monza from the Middle Ages 
to the present offers an insight into the city and its community by tracing the 
origins of several of its confraternities and recounting the religious practices in 
use not only within its confraternities but also within Monzese society. 

Reviews 25 

The introduction surveys the origins of confraternities and describes the role 
of religion in Monzese society, explaining how different time periods brought 
about changes in several religious laws. Each of the chapters that follow focuses 
on a specific confraternity within the city, presenting information about the 
customs and costumes typical of that particular group. The third chapter, for 
instance, talks about the Order of the Umiliati, whose traces can be found in the 
city to this day, and how it established a school system and a health care system 
that were available to all those in need. Worthy of mention is also the eighth 
chapter, which focuses on the Confraternity of Saint Bernadine, later known as 
the Confraternity of the Gonfalone, a sodality who cared for criminals condemned 
to capital punishment. The ninth deals with The Roman Order of the Holy Trinity 
of the Redemption of Slaves, which worked to free Christians enslaved by the 
Turks. The eleventh examines the Confraternity of Death, dedicated to the 
practice of flagellation and to other pious and charitable acts. Chapter sixteen 
examines the importance of the Virgin Mary in Monzese society, and discusses 
Marian confraternities in the city. The last chapter focuses on the processions 
honouring God that came to replace the annual carnivals and served as an act of 
contrition for all society. 

The volume's appendix contains a catechism from the School of S. Marta, 
an itinerary of sixteenth-century processions, and several documents listing the 
rules and duties of three of Monza's confraternities. The documents selected by 
the author offer a direct insight into the life of particular confraternities as well 
as into the role each played within Monzese society. The itinerary of processions 
gives the exact times and locations at which the various processions were to begin 
and the places where they were to pass, while also explaining what was to be sung 
and recited along the way. The book is enriched by numerous pictures and a 
detailed map of the city pointing out the location of confraternities. 

Although encyclopedic in a way, Fassina's volume is an excellent starting 
point for a more intensive examination of confraternities in Monza as well as a 
reliable overview of the lay religious situation in this Northern Italian town during 
the premodern period. 

Lucia Galluzzo 

Dept of Italian Studies 

University of Toronto 

Newbigin, Nerida. Feste d'Oltrarno. Plays in Churches in Fifteenth-Century 
Florence. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1996. 2 vols, xv, 794 pp. ISBN 88-222-4444-3. 
L. 176,000 

Fifteenth-century Florentine sacred plays, the sacre rappresentazioni, were per- 
formed in confraternity oratories and in churches both as a devotional expression 
and as religious spectacle. Although highly popular in their time, they have 
remained largely misunderstood in our time and have been misrepresented within 
theatre scholarship pertaining to this period. As Newbigin suggests in the intro- 

26 Confraternitas 10:2 

duction to her two-volume study, current scholarship on sacre rappresentazioni 
has rested upon the faulty assumption that religious plays printed in the last 
decades of the fifteenth century provide an accurate reflection of how such plays 
were performed in the earlier part of the century and in the context of religious 
festivities (feste). By reconstructing the individual performances of the feste, 
Newbigin uncovers the staging practices and conventions upon which these plays 
were based and offers valuable insights into the vicissitudes that characterize the 
life of Florence's popular theatrical genre. As a result, the early feste, whose texts 
circulated in manuscript form, can be more fully and accurately distinguished 
from those sacre rappresentazioni that were staged and which were subsequently 
printed during the last decades of the fifteenth century for the benefit of a wide 
lay reading public. 

Newbigin focuses upon three important plays produced by confraternities in 
fifteenth -century Florence: the Annunciation play performed by the Compagnia 
della Nunziata at the church of San Felice in Piazza, the Ascension play performed 
by the Compagnia di Santa Agnese at the Carmine, and the Pentecost play 
performed by the Compagnia dello Spirito Santo delle Laude, detta del Piccione, 
in the church of Santo Spirito. In her first volume Newbigin reconstructs the 
performance history for each of these plays. In volume two she provides four 
valuable appendices, each containing the source material used in her study. In 
particular, she provides modern critical editions of the plays and transcribes 
relevant contemporary confraternity and commune records relevant to these 
performances. All contemporary accounts of the three feste are analyzed vis-a-vis 
financial ledgers in order to determine the accuracy of eye-witness accounts and, 
by extension, the accuracy of scholarly criticism based upon such accounts. For 
example, using confraternity ledgers and inventories to reconstruct the 
Sant' Agnese Assumption feste "diachronically," tracing the evolution of its 
equipment over fifty years, Newbigin finally finds support for Abraham of 
Suzdal's 1439 description of the play's performance only in the accumulated 
evidence of fourteen years of ledger entries (p.93). Conversely, current scholarly 
theories concerning staging practices for the feste are subjected to careful and 
extensive scrutiny. For example, in reconstructing the performance history for the 
festa of the Annunciation, Newbigin notes thatZorzi and Lisi's 1975 scale model 
of its stage set, though quite valuable, nonetheless attributes certain qualities to 
the mezza palla tonda (the "dome") that find no basis in either Vasari's 1568 
description of the machinery nor in Abraham of Suzdal's 1439 account of the 
performance (p. 25). 

Similarly, with a view to establishing the precise relationship between the 
sacre rappresentazioni and the feste, Newbigin assesses relevant play texts such 
as Feo Belcari' s Annunciation in terms of their appeal to a more verbal, as opposed 
to a visual registry of meaning. In this way, the emergence of the new narrative 
form of the sacre rappresentazioni may be detected and more fully understood 
against the backdrop of the older confraternity festa. Newbigin later extends this 
analysis to include a consideration of the printing press and its impact on the 
dissolution of dramatic form (p. 4 1 ): with the emergence of an insatiable reading 

Reviews 27 

market in the 1480s, earlier versions of the plays became "garbled," contributing 
to a highly syncretic product. This further troubled efforts to classify the feste and 
to identify their staging conventions. 

The formidable task of reconstructing fifteenth-century staging practices for 
these confraternity feste proves most interesting when the author's analysis 
radiates outwards, entertaining questions such as the feste' s relationship to other 
art forms. For example, in discussing the unique practice of staging the Annun- 
ciation in San Felice from the right rather than from the left, Newbigin offers a 
convincing argument which situates the iconography of the San Felice festa as a 
possible source for Fra Filippo Lippi's famous painting of the Annunciation (c. 
1 439) in the Palazzo Doria in Rome — because of the similarities between the three 
feste, Newbigin suggests, the former Carmelite friar would have been necessarily 
aware of the practice at the Camaldolese church of San Felice in Piazza (p. 17). 

Conversely, Newbigin' s reconstruction benefits from the judicious use of 
paintings as explanatory sources. When trying to ascertain the nature and use of 
the Pentecost font for which only cryptic descriptions surface in ledger and 
inventory accounts, Newbigin turns to the Pentecost in the Spanish Chapel in the 
Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella. As the painting suggests, the font is 
placed outside the gates of Jerusalem and provides "with its whirligigs and shower 
of fireworks a symbolic baptism for the gentiles who are converted by the 
Apostles" (p. 194). Above all, it must be noted that the more difficult reconstruc- 
tions would be strained or wholly incomplete if not subject to analysis of a 
theological nature. For example, the Sant' Agnese confraternity's Ascension play 
performed at the church of the Carmine relies upon the use of zCastello, the upper 
part of which resists identification and understanding (p. 99). The rubric for Feo 
Belcari's Ascension, however, provides the answer: it indicates that the play opens 
with a tableau depicting Christ with his mother and the apostles eating in the 
cenacle. Newbigin identifies this cenacle as the "Upper Room of the Last Supper 
on Maundy Thursday and the Upper Room in which the Holy Ghost will descend 
upon the Apostles on Whitsunday" (p. 99). The cenacle, Newbigin explains, 
shares the same position as the Castello of the Pentecost/esta, thereby continuing 
the "fourteenth-century iconographical tradition of the Pentecost." The supper 
evidently underscores Christ's love and humanity, occupying a central position 
at Ascension no less so than at Pentecost. 

More than simply expanding our understanding of the nugola, the monte, or 
the famous Pentecost fire tubes, Newbigin's analysis — traversing as it does the 
fields of fine art, hermeneutics, theology, physics, architecture, dramatic litera- 
ture, politics, history, and theatre — provides insight into the religious sensibility 
that characterizes fifteenth-century Florentine imagination and highlights the 
vital role played by confraternities in mounting the elaborate religious plays that 
were an integral part of that sensibility. 

Teresa Si mm 

Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama 

University of Toronto 

28 Confraternitas 10:2 

Percorsi di protezione delta gravidanza del parto e della prima infanzia. Exhibi- 
tion catalogue ed. Giancarlo Baronti. Corciano, 7-22 August 1999. Corciano: 
n.p., 1999. 127 pp., b/w and colour illustrations, no ISBN, no price. 

This catalogue highlights the most recent exhibition mounted in conjunction with 
the "Agosto Corcianese" program in the Umbrian town of Corciano. The fruit of 
a collaborative effort between the Pro Loco of Corciano, various cultural bureaus, 
the University of Perugia, and the Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Mantignana, 
the aim of the exhibition, like previous ones, was "to document a specific aspect 
of popular culture." In this case, it presented works expressing our perennial 
fascination with, and anxiety toward, the "cardinal moments of human life" — 
pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy. 

Assembling works found in local museums, the exhibition and its catalogue 
can be divided into two principal sections: paintings representing Christian 
iconography and relics reflecting popular superstition. The works are a themati- 
cally organized sampling of Umbria's rich cultural patrimony, evidence of the 
region's status not only as geographical centre of the peninsula, but also as an 
important centre of Italian culture. The commentaries on the catalogue entries 
consist of three short essays that examine various aspects of the exhibit: the first 
discusses a newly recovered fresco in the church of San Fortunato in Perugia 
depicting the Virgin Mary nursing the child Jesus; the second outlines the 
activities of the orphanage of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Perugia; and the 
third examines relics pertaining to pregnancy, birth, and infancy. 

This last essay discusses various amulets and talismanic stones traditionally 
linked to pregnancy and childbirth, thereby offering a rare glimpse into popular 
tradition and superstition. Its author, Giancarlo Baronti, provides an insightful 
discussion of items thought to possess therapeutic qualities, such as the so-called 
eagle stones. Because of their rarity and cost, these stones were used primarily 
by elite women, such as the duchess Isabella d'Este who, in a letter from 1494, 
wrote of the "pietra de Aquila" which she recommended for its ability to 
"facilitare el parto." 

Luigi Tittarelli's essay on the foundlings of the Ospedale di Santa Maria della 
Misericordia will be of interest to confraternity scholars because the confraternity 
of the Misericordia was involved with the hospice from its inception. For reasons 
of space and brevity Tittarelli does not discuss in depth the confraternity's role 
as founder of the orphanage, but he does refer the reader to several other secondary 
sources that will serve that purpose. Confraternity scholars will find in it a general 
overview of the orphanage and a good bibliographical source. Social historians 
will appreciate the essay's fascinating discussion of wet-nursing arrangements, 
as well as its child care and mortality statistics. 

While the three short essays make no attempt at presenting a unified approach 
to the theme of motherhood, the catalogue as a whole can be quite useful to 
scholars. As its editor points out in the introduction, the objective of the exhibition 
and of the catalogue was "to make the objects speak." By providing high quality 
reproductions and adequate descriptions, the reader will find that the catalogue 

Reviews 29 

does just that: it leaves interpretations to others and allows the paintings and relics 
to express the anxiety and joy surrounding the "cardinal moments of life." 

Deana Basile 

Department of Italian Studies 

University of Toronto 

Sandri, Lucia. L'Ospedale di S. Maria della Scala di S. Gimignano nel Quattro- 
cento. Contributo alia storia dell' infanzia abbandonata. Biblioteca della 
"Miscellanea storica della Valdelsa", 4 [Castelfiorentino]: Societa storica della 
Valdelsa, 1982. 217 pp. no ISBN. L. 15,000 

Lucia Sandri is one of the Italian scholars who has contributed the most to our 
understanding of patterns of infant abandonment and surrogate institutional care 
for children in fifteenth century Tuscany. She has written extensively on 
Florence's Ospedale degli Innocenti and other institutions and, apart from her 
own work, has promoted collaborative research through conferences and essay 
collections. This earlier work of Sandri's demonstrates the careful archival 
scholarship that characterizes her more recent books and articles, and sets the 
institution in its broader social context. 

The Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in San Gimignano arose in 1315 
from the legacy of a local notary who stipulated that its administration and name 
follow those of Siena's famous Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala. It remained 
under Sienese direction until Duke Cosimo I merged it with Florence's Innocenti 
in 1553-54 as a prelude to his conquest of Siena the following year. Following 
patterns seen elsewhere, the Ospedale' s greatest influx of legacies came in its first 
few decades, and particularly in the wake of the Black Death of 1 348. These were 
sometimes the gifts of older people whose generosity allowed them to live and 
work in the home as oblates and then to be buried by the Ospedale after their 
deaths. Inventories of 1428, 1453, and 1478 allow Sandri to track the patrimony 
of the Ospedale which, while it declined in certain respects, still allowed the 
institution to supply its own agricultural needs. 

Particular chapters trace the personnel of the Ospedale (including wetnurses) 
and its peripheral activity of organizing pilgrimages, but the bulk of Sandri's work 
is given over to analyzing the foundlings: their origins, gender, age, and condition 
on entry, and their passage out of the home back to families, to work, to marriage, 
or to religious vocations. The overwhelming majority of children entered within 
the first month afterbirth, over 85% of them illegitimate. Most were left just after 
sunset or around midnight, deposited in a small font attached to a column or left 
at other institutions and passed on to the foundling home. From 1413 to 1512, 
400-500 infants (a twenty-year documentary lapse prevents a firm figure) were 
abandoned, almost 60% of them girls. Only 40% left the institution alive; of the 
remainder, 25% died within 4 weeks, 40% within a year, 22% by age 3, and 13% 
by age 6. The living left for fates which, for the most part, are unknown; of 

30 Confraternitas 10:2 

documented outcomes, the majority were restored to families and some were 
married. Only a handful entered religious houses. 

Sandri says little about the local administration of Santa Maria della Scala, 
the level where one might expect to find a confraternity or guild fulfilling the 
charitable obligations of its concept of social kinship. It would be interesting to 
know more about the home's place in San Gimigniano's social, political, and 
religious order, and how it fits into the broader struggle between Florence and 
Siena for control of Tuscany. That notwithstanding, this is a fine and very 
thoroughly researched study both of a local home and of the broader phenomenon 
of abandonment in Renaissance Italy. 

Nicholas Terpstra 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

/ tesori delle confraternite. Savona, Palazzo del Commissario, 2-31 luglio 1999. 
Exhibition catalogue. Ed. Cecilia Chilosi and Eliana Mattiauda. Savona: Comune 
di Savona, 1999. 167 pp., 69 illustrations 

Whether or not one ascribes any genuine significance to the approaching millen- 
nium, one would be hard pressed to ignore its effect as a stimulus to cultural and 
civic projects. Indeed, the notion of completing projects in time for the turn of 
the century, as a means of bringing closure to one epoch and creating a fresh start 
to another, appears to have provided the impetus for a programme of restoration 
in the northern Italian city of Savona. Overshadowed for centuries by the power 
and fame of Genoa, in the last decades of this century Savona embarked on the 
arduous task of restoring its imposing military fortress, the Priamar, which had 
fallen into decay following Genoese domination in the sixteenth century. At the 
same time, the Savonese began to catalogue and document the holdings and 
histories of the city's many confraternities. In 1999 the two projects culminated 
in an exhibition of confraternity treasures held in the newly restored Priamar. 

Nominally a catalogue of the items displayed as part of the exhibition, this 
volume is much more than a mere list and photographic record of Ligurian 
confraternity artifacts. In addition to the expected "Catalogo", this handsome 
edition contains a series of scholarly articles on the origins, activities and 
patrimony of the Savonese confraternities. These articles, together with Fausta 
Franchini Guelfi's introduction and the forewords by a number of civic officials, 
combine with its full colour and black and white photographic record to create a 
cohesive and evocative portrait of confraternity life dating back to the Middle 

In the first essay, "Cenni sulla vicenda quasi millenaria delle confraternite 
savonesi," Giuseppe Buscaglia traces the documentable origins of Ligurian con- 
fraternities to the Penitential movement of 1260, noting that the first material 
evidence of confraternity activity in Savona itself is contained in a 1266 papal 
approval of the statutes proposed by the Confraternity of Santa Maria del Castello. 

Reviews 3 1 

Notwithstanding the fact that the oratory of that confraternity was destroyed in 
1542 by the Genoese to make room for their military fortifications, the Confra- 
ternity, along with others, survived only to find their practices under scrutiny in 
the years of post-Tridentine reform. Buscaglia provides a fascinating account of 
the effects of Church interests on the autonomy of the Savonese confraternities, 
outlining the gradual transformation in the focus of confraternity activities from 
the late sixteenth century to the present. 

"La Processione del Venerdi Santo," overseen by the Priorato Generale delle 
Confraternite, provides a similarly expansive perspective, though it focuses on 
one particular aspect of confraternity activity, the Good Friday public procession. 
The next essay, Fulvio Cervini's "Qualche appunto sull'orizzonte sociale della 
scultura lignea a Savona nel tardo Medioevo," provides a gradual and appropriate 
segue into the specific focus of the 1999 exhibition: the actual artifacts them- 
selves. Focusing on what is often dismissed as folk art, Cervini presents a clear 
and critical account of the central issues relating to the use of wooden sculptures 
as focal points of devotion, issues ranging from the objections of the iconoclasts 
to the artistic merits of the works. Alessandro Giacobbe's "II patrimonio 
architettonico e artistico delle confraternite in Val Neva: un percorso di ricerca" 
and Marina Venturino's "Le confraternite e il Priamar" supply the relevant 
physical and social context to the visual record that follows. Divided into sections 
on sculpture, painting, silverworks, textiles, and furnishings, the catalogue por- 
tion is rich in full colour illustrations that attest to the vibrant confraternity 
tradition in Savona. The volume closes with an extensive bibliography that will 
provide scholars with plenty of reading for the next century. 

Mary Alexandra Watt 

Department of French, Italian & Spanish 

Brock University 

Verdi Webster, Susan. Art and Ritual in Golden-Age Spain. Sevillian Con- 
fraternities and the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week. Princeton, NJ: 
Princeton University Press, 1998. xxi, 292 pp. ISBN 0-691-04819-3 US.$55. 

In a richly researched study, Susan Verdi Webster examines the popular tradition 
of holy week processions of Golden-Age Spain, the lay religious groups that 
organized them, and the ritual context that surrounded them in order to gain a 
better understanding of the life-like sculpture created for such processions. 
Webster's thesis is that such sculptures cannot be separated from their function 
within religious processions, lest we ignore the dynamic interaction between art, 
spectacle, and popular religious sentiment. Thus works of art traditionally dispar- 
aged by scholars (or merely overlooked) as aesthetically inferior, are here studied 
within their original ritual context. Webster argues that when used in procession 
the sculptures become "activated": within the dynamics of the ritual, the sculp- 
tures are transformed and function to integrate the human and divine spheres 
through the emotional and spiritual power they evoke. Although the author claims 

32 Confraternitas 10:2 

that the works are also aesthetically "elevated" within the processional environ- 
ment, she does not engage in a traditional aesthetic evaluation of them; rather, 
she moves seamlessly from art history to social and religious history, providing 
a thorough framework within which the works can be adequately viewed. In doing 
so, Webster attributes to these "activated" works an "aesthetic of emotion", that 
is, a recognition of the synergistic relationship between image and ritual milieu 
that traditional aesthetic evaluation ignores. 

For scholars who have no immediate interest in processional art, the book is 
nevertheless a useful source of information on penitential confraternities. Focus- 
ing on confraternities in Seville, Webster provides many details about them 
(governing structures, membership screening procedures, rule books, proces- 
sional activities, ecclesiastical attempts at control, etc.). The first chapter (the 
longest of the four) can easily stand on its own as an insightful study of the 
penitential confraternities of Seville. The volume as a whole demonstrates how 
initially humble lay religious groups "became powerful social and cultural insti- 
tutions that profoundly influenced the nature of popular religious expression and 
experience during the Golden Age." 

Webster's study will be most welcome to students of confraternities, both 
for its unique interdisciplinary approach and for the many intriguing avenues it 
opens for further study on the relationship between religious art and its context. 


Department of Italian Studies 

University of Toronto 

Publications Received 

The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been 
deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and 
Renaissance Studies (Toronto): 

Alemannno, Antonio, et al.. La confraternita del SS. Sacramento e Rosario di Mottola (sec. 
XVI). Introduction by Liana Bertoldi Lenoci. Centro Ricerche di Storia Religiosa in Puglia, 
11. Mottola (TA): Edizioni Stampasud, 1998. 442, [5] pp., 106 illustrations [with five 
chapters by Antonio Alemanno, and one each by Mimma Pasculli Ferrara and Vito 

Barna, Gabon Az Eld Rozsafuzer kunszentmdrtoni tdrsulatdnak jegyzokonyve 1851-1940. 
Minutes of the Living Rosary Confraternity in Kunszentmdrton, 1851-1940. Devotio 
Hungarorum, 5. Szeged: Neprajzi Tansz6k, 1988. 334 pp., 16 illustrations 

// buonfedele. Le confraternite tra medioevo e prima eta moderna. ([Verona]: Quaderni di 
storia religiosa, 1998), 286 pp., 2 ill., 2 graphs [Contains: Lorenza Pamato "Le confraternite 
medievali. Studi e tendenze storiografiche" pp. 9-51, Laura Gaffuri "Prediche a confrater- 
nite" pp. 53-82, Rosa Maria Dessi "Parola, scrittura, libri nelle confraternite. I laudesi 
fiorentini di San Zanobi" pp. 83-105, Maria Teresa Brolis & Giovanni Brembilla "Mille e 
piu donne in confraternita" pp. 107-134, Luca Patria "Gli spazi dello Spirito: confrarie e 
comunita in val di Susa (secc. XIII-XV)" pp. 135-157, Marina Gazzini "II consortium 
Spiritus Sancti in Emilia fra Due e Trecento" pp. 159-194, Anna Esposito "Amministrare 
la devozione. Note dai libri sociali delle confraternite romane (secc. XV-XVI)" pp. 1 95-223, 
Anna Cavallaro "L'Annunciazione Torquemada di Antoniazzo Romano: memoria e 
celebrazione della carita confraternale" pp. 225-233, Danilo Zardin "Riforma e confraternite 
nella Milano di Carlo Borromeo" pp. 235-263.] 

Cambiaso, Domenico. "Casacce e confraternite medievali in Genova e Liguria" Atti della 
Societa Ligure di Storia Patria, 71 (1948), pp. 79-1 10. 

Carlsmith, Christopher. "II Collegio Patavino della Misericordia Maggiore di Bergamo, 
1531-C.1550", Bergomum, 93:1-2 (1998), pp. 75-98. 

Carlsmith, Christopher. "Le scolae e la scuola. L'istruzione amore dei in Bergamo tra '500 
e '600", Atti delVAteneo di scienze, lettere ed arti di Bergamo, vol. 60, a. a. 1996-97 
(Bergamo: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1999), pp. 235-256. 

Carrara, Francesca, Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti. Gli istituti di beneficenza a 
Firenze. Storia e architettura. Firenze: Alinea, 1999. 191 pp., b/w and colour illustrations 
ISBN 88-8125-311-9. no price 

Casagrande, Giovanna. "II movimento penitenziale francescano nel dibattito storiografico 
degli ultimi 25 anni", Analecta TOR 162/29 (1998), pp. 351-389. 

D'Andrea, David. Civic Christianity in Fifteenth-Century Treviso: The Confraternity and 
Hospital of Santa Maria dei Battuti. Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia, May 1999. 
Supervisor, Professor Anne Jacobson Schutte. vii, 283 pp. 


34 Confraternitas 10:2 

Dominguez Leon, Jose. La sociedad sevillana en la epoca isabelina. Una vision a traves de 
la religiosidad (1833-1868). Cordoba: Publicaciones obra social y cultural cajasur, 1999. 
588 pp. ISBN 84-7959-271-0; no price 

Eisenbichler, Konrad. "Per un nuovo approccio dXYAbram e Isac di Feo Belcari", in Cultura 
e potere nel Rinascimento. Atti del IX Convegno internazionale (Chianciano-Pienza 21-24 
luglio 1994. Firenze: Franco Cesati Editore, 1999. pp. 293-300 [play in the confraternity of 
S. Giovanni Evangelista, in Florence] 

Fassina, Giuseppe. Fraternita monzese tra medioevo ed epoca contemporanea. Monza: 
Rotari Club Monza Est e Monda Nord/Societa di Studi Monzesi, 1999. 256 pp. ill.; no ISBN, 
no price 

Michelassi, Nicola. "II teatro del Cocomero di Firenze. Uno stanzone per tre accademie 
(1651-1665)", Studi secenteschi 40 (1999), pp. 149-186 [theatre, academies, and con- 
fraternities in 17th century Florence] 

Newbigin, Nerida. Feste d'Oltrarno. Plays in Churches in Fifteenth-Century Florence. 
Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1996. 2 vols, xv, 794 pp. ISBN 88-222-4444-3. L. 176,000 

Percorsi di protezione delta gravidanza, del parto, e delta prima infanzia. Exhibition 
catalogue ed. Giancarlo Baronti. Corciano, 7-22 August 1999 (Corciano: Pro-loco di 
Corciano, 1999), 127 pp., b/w and colour illustrations, no ISBN, n.p. [contains, among 
others: Giovanna Casagrande "San Silvestro e la Madonna del Latte" pp. 29-31; Luigi 
Tittarelli, "L' atti vita di accoglienza dell' infanzia abbandonata dell'Ospedale di S. Maria 
della Misericordia a Perugia nei secoli XVI-XIX" pp. 32^1] 

Sandri, Lucia. UOspedale di S. Maria della Scala di S. Gimignano nel Quattrocento. 
Contributo alia storia dell' infanzia abbandonata. [Castelfiorentino]: Societa storica della 
Valdelsa, 1982. 217 pp. no ISBN. L. 15,000 

Scuola dalmata dei SS. Giorgio e Trifone (Venezia), issue 35 (1998/2) 

Sella, Barbara. "Northern Italian Confraternities and the Immaculate Conception in the 
Fourteenth Century", Journal of Ecclesiastical History 49:4 (1998), pp. 599-619 [includes 
a transcription of the statutes of the Consorzio della Donna, Cremona, April 1347] 

I tesori delle confraternite. Savona, Palazzo del Commissario, 2-31 luglio 1999. Exhibition 
catalogue. Ed. Cecilia Chilosi and Eliana Mattiauda. Savona: Comune di Savona, 1999. 167 
pp., 69 b/w and colour illustrations [Contains: Fausta Franchini Guelfi "Introduzione" pp. 
15-17; Giuseppe Buscaglia "Cenni sulla vicenda quasi millenaria delle confraternite 
savonesi" pp. 19-23; Priorato Generale delle Confraternite "La processione del Venerdi 
Santo", pp. 25-27; Fulvio Cervini "Qualche appunto sull'orizzonte sociale della scultura 
lignea a Savona nel tardo Medioevo" pp. 29-34; Alessandro Giacobbe "II patrimonio 
architettonico e artistico delle confraternite in Val Neva: un percorso di ricerca" pp. 37^8; 
Marina Venturino "Le confraternite e il Priamar" pp. 49-52; Cecilia Chilosi "Scultura" pp. 
55-84; Rosalina Collu "Pittura" pp. 85-103; Eliana Mattiauda "Argenti" pp. 105-135; 
MagdaTassinari"Tessuti"pp. 137-149; anon. "Arredoligneoeoggettid'uso" pp. 151-159; 
"Bibliografia" pp. 161-167.] 

Verdi Webster, Susan. Art and Ritual in Golden- Age Spain. Sevillian Confraternities and 
the Processional Sculpture of Holy Week. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998. 
xxi, 292 pp. 


MAR : 3 !002